AFTER being hosted at various venues in the island’s north for the past few decades, the traditional New Year’s fun event, Asou Square, has returned to its original venue.
This Thursday and Friday (January 1 and 2), Asou Square will be hosted at the Derek Walcott Square (formerly Columbus Square) where it was last held over three decades ago.
Many Saint Lucians, especially children, look forward to the family fun event which ushers in the new year with food, fun and festivities. Traditionally held on January 1 and 2, the fun event is for many the high point of the Christmas season and has been around for nearly 75 years.
Over the past week or so, the food booths have been going up on the pavements outside the Derek Walcott Square. Just over 60 food booths have been constructed along the Laborie Street, Micoud Street and Bourbon Street section of the Square, while close to 30 sections for vending trays have been marked out on Brazil Street. Five booths will also be set up inside the Square for the sale of toys and where children’s activities, such as bouncing castles, will take centre stage.
Yesterday, Castries City Council (CCC) workers were seen putting finishing touches to some of the food booths. A stage where entertainment will be provided was also being constructed and musical equipment being set up.
Last week, Town Clerk, Reginald St. Juste, said that while the annual activity continues to be a staple on the local cultural calendar, the cost of hosting the event has been growing exponentially. Nevertheless, he said the show must go on.
Since leaving its traditional stomping grounds, Asou Square has been hosted in Sans Souci (along the John Compton Highway), Cul-de-Sac, Beausejour Promenade and Pigeon Point. For many Saint Lucians, this week’s Asou Square will be a nostalgic one, with the event being hosted right back at square one.
Is this progress or digression? After thirty years with a growing population and traffic was this the best decision to return to this confine space and all it known draw backs? Or has the event deteriorated to such an extents that it is no more the attraction it use to be for many St.Lucians, it needs a comprehensive review and planning committee to develop this to a much sort after annual event for both St. Lucians and visitors to the island.
Vive la assou square!
It is not progress to suggest that after 30 years assou square will be the same. While the population has grown, so do people have more options for relaxation. They can choose
to stay at home to watch grand sports on ESPN; play games with friends on their home consoles; get in their car and go have fun at Laborie, or go to kwansa in Miami. If you ask me, I believe children would choose to go to Disneyland than assou square wherever that is, and some actually go to Disney. Were these options when the assou square event was established?
Change is the only constant, so enjoy the city square!
Why would anyone want to buy a plate of food from food booths made out of 30 year old recycled materials? Oh! What an eyesore.
It is time St. Lucians grow up and realize that we have outgrown this Rum & Roast celebration. The ‘celebration’ is meaningless. Also, this kind of galvanize shack building in the center of the city only serves to re-enforce that Castries is fast becoming a big ghetto.
These galvanized shacks have been used for the past 75 years. Haven’t we learnt anything in the past seven decades about events management to make this Asou Square more meaningful? Where are all the ‘graduates’ we have educated, at taxpayers expense, over these seven decades? What are they doing to improve this so called fun event?
Perhaps it is time to ban this meaningless celebration.