Red and White has been an annual event started over 26 years ago which you may very well know that it goes beyond the genesis of the family hotel. But this year in particular begun in the planning stage 3 months in advance inside the living room in Barbados.All the family members found space among the furniture to be a part of the crowd sprawled out among the couches and chairs or even perched upon armrests. As we were discussing the general happenings of St.Vincent we somehow came about talking about Red and White. At that time we decided we were going to actually plan a real party instead of just simply having it as was tradition. Ideas begun to fly from every corner full of colorful descriptions that made us laugh and argue, but the most important one was the date. December 17th. This date was set and nothing was going to change it. If only we would have known it was going to be completely packed with our family and friends, and friends of friends becoming new friends we would have built a bigger restaurant.
We begun the day with anxious anticipation of how the night was going to go. With so many new things put into place, we were jokingly told don't even bother to come back to work if our party was a flop. At least I think they were joking, luckily we didn't have to find out. Regardless we worked from early in the morning putting in place all the little bits and bobs we had been working on for the last 3 months, all the preparations began passing through my mind and at this point I was happy with the efforts all of us had made for our little family tradition.
The early planning wasn't the only tradition we influenced to break for this event, we also got our fellow Vincentians to come early to an event! Unfortunately we found out they were told the wrong starting time and for this I have to apologize to those dedicated and valued people who came early (I'm so sorry Aunt Esta!). The party truly kicked off at about 10:00pm , lines started forming at the entrance for their wrist bands and I was breathing a sigh of relief against my possible termination of employment through an ambiguous joke.
Relief turned into joy as I saw friends from overseas seeing each other for the first time after returning home and embracing heartfelt hugs fueled by years of friendship.
12:00am , the party was in full force. The DJ with a relentless smile at the crowd pointing to him and smiling. He found himself on stage directing the crowd like a maestro conducting a concert. I now found myself with a beer in hand and camera in the other, a good excuse to get on the dance floor and 'work'. The rest of the night went as you expect, constant dancing, people meeting people for the first time at the party despite being there for hours together due to the crowd being so dense. Drinks coming from the make shift bar we set up that morning where the old bar used to be, along with the KREW craft beer which the family sampled several times to make sure the quality was consistent all night.
Thank you all who made our night possible in planning and preparing.
And a special thanks to those who came from even before the start time all the way to the end. We hope to see you again next year and have a very merry Christmas.