The Virgin Islands Carnival Committee will hold a news conference Monday morning reportedly to announce that the month-long celebration will be held this year despite a $50,000 reduction in allotments from the Virgin Islands government.
Committee Chairman Kenneth Blake is expected to be joined by the committees executive director, Caswill Callendar, at the mid-morning conference.
The two will reportedly explain how the committee will scale back its celebration for the year 2000 given the reduced allotment from the government.
Gov. Charles Turnbull in his budget submission requested the same level of funding for the committee as it received a year ago; however, the 23rd Legislature slashed the allotment by $50,000 during its mark-up of the Fiscal Year 2000 budget.
The chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Lorraine Berry, explained in an interview on WVWI Radio One last week that the allotment was reduced to reflect cuts Turnbull recommended for the St. Croix and St. John carnival celebrations.
"Its all about fairness," Berry said, explaining that it would have been unfair for the St. John Fourth of July Celebration and the St. Croix Crucian Fiesta to receive cuts in the funding they receive from the government and allow the St. Thomas Carnival to remain at its full funding level of $300,000.
The fate of the Carnival celebration was cast in doubt last week when Blake and other Carnival officials said they would have to downsize the event or eliminate it as a result of the reduced funding and the lack of private-sector corporate sponsorship.
Blake said then that the committee would meet over the weekend to decide if it would "take the reduced funding and put on Carnival or simply put it on hold until the financial conditions of the territory improve."
The celebration begins in April and extends through the first week in May.
Additional information on the Virgin Islands Carnival celebration is available at www.vicarnival.com.