Asou Square Un­der New Tents

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The an­nual Asou Square cel­e­bra­tions will be held in the city of Cas­tries on Jan­uary 1 and 2, 2016 with a fresh new look.

Asou Square is a New Year’s cel­e­bra­tion which dates back to the seven­ties here in Saint Lucia. It was orig­i­nally held at the Colum­bus Square (now Derek Wal­cott Square), hence the Cre­ole name ‘Asou’ which means “on the Square.”

The event af­forded fam­i­lies a chance to con­verge in one spot to usher in the New Year.

The event tra­di­tion­ally fea­tured board games, horse rides, and toys for the chil­dren, bar­be­cued chicken and fish and floats/bakes, ac­cras and cot­ton candy. Mati­nee shows at the nearby Clarke’s and Gai­ety cine­mas were a fix­ture dur­ing this time. Asou Square was also seen as a way of clos­ing the fes­tive Christ­mas sea­son and ush­er­ing in a New Year.

Over the years this tra­di­tional ac­tiv­ity has been moved to var­i­ous lo­ca­tions for one rea­son or an­other. It was held along the John Comp­ton High­way near the Vigie play­ing field for sev­eral years when it was moved from its orig­i­nal home be­fore be­ing moved once again to the Pi­geon Is­land Cause­way. Asou Square was later held at Beause­jour and Cul-De-Sac be­fore re­turn­ing to Vigie.

This year Asou Square re­turns to its orig­i­nal home on the DWS in Cas­tries. Much to the de­light of many, the event seeks to bring back some of the old tra­di­tions while host­ing en­ter­tain­ment ac­tiv­i­ties on a stage in­side the square.

The tra­di­tional look of the event, char­ac­ter­ized by gal­va­nized sheet­ing and wooden huts, was much to the cha­grin of some. For this year’s event, that has changed – for the bet­ter.

For Asou Square 2016 the wooden and gal­va­nized food and drink stalls have been re­placed by white can­vas and wooden tents. By Tues­day the tents were al­ready neatly po­si­tioned along three streets bor­der­ing the Square: Mi­coud Street, La­borie Street and Bour­bon Street.

The forty im­pres­sive ten feet by ten feet tents were re­cently pur­chased by the Cas­tries City Coun­cil and will be rented out to ven­dors for the two-day event. An ad­di­tional 15 tents will be sourced lo­cally.

The two days of Asou Square tra­di­tion­ally get un­der­way fol­low­ing mid­night mass on De­cem­ber 31.

This year the Min­istry of Cre­ative In­dus­tries is spear­head­ing ef­forts to en­sure that there is never a dull mo­ment dur­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties. For this rea­son part of the in­side of the square has been re­served as an en­ter­tain­ment zone and will fea­ture Saint Lu­cian en­ter­tain­ers from the tra­di­tional to the con­tem­po­rary.

The pris­tine white tents align­ing the Derek Wal­cott Square walls.

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