By anguillian May 24, 2016 11:15 Updated




By all accounts, the Welches Village Fest this year may have attracted the largest crowd not only for 2016, but over the past years as well. The event, which originally started as a community-based pastime, has now mushroomed into a tourist attraction in Anguilla with teeming crowds flocking to the area each year. The eighth annual event, on the May 16 Whit Monday holiday, saw the vast throng peak during the afternoon and late evening periods as the feature activity – a traditional queen pageant – took centre stage.

The competitive activity was moderated by cultural enthusiast Dr. O. M. Linda Banks, a past beauty queen contestant. The show, the first of its kind at the Welches Fest, involved seven vocal and fairly stage-accustomed participants over the age of 60, selected from each of the seven electoral districts. They first appeared together – in a fanfare – attired in the national colours of Anguilla. Their other appearances included a talent segment in which they spoke about someone in their particular district whose life and work had impressed them. Their speeches were judged on content, delivery, fluency, clarity and creativity. Their final appearance was in traditional wedding dress.

The contestants, who performed in stage names, were Miss Suzana (Claudette Bryan, District 1); Miss Tilda (Agnes Duncan, District 2); Miss Florrie (Violet Gumbs, District 3); Miss Matile (Lelia Richardson, District 4); Miss B (Brontie Hazell, District 5); Miss Winky (Jane Romney, District 6); and Miss Dixie (Daphne Connor, District 7).
First place was taken by Miss Suzana, District 1; second place by Miss Winky, District 6; and third place by Miss Matile, District 4. The experienced judges were Michelle Queeley, Marisa Gumbs and Romaire Kelsick.

Throughout the day the interest of the crowd was maintained by various traditional foods, string band music, displays of cultural artifacts, toys of yesteryear and many more attractions. During the 8.00 am to 10.00 pm event there were short addresses by Mr. Joseph Vanterpool, on behalf of the Welches Village Fest Committee, who spoke about the growth of the cultural activity over the years and welcomed the massive crowd of patrons. Mr. Cardigan Connor, Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism, referred to the publicity and marketing aspects of the event; and Ms. Jade Reymond, Commercial Manager for FLOW Anguilla, said the telecommunications company was delighted to be the main sponsor of the event as part of its corporate responsibilities and service .

Both the Welches Village Fest and Anguilla on a whole will derive a great deal of outside publicity as the event was filmed by a visiting BBC 2 television crew for airing later on.

By anguillian May 24, 2016 11:15 Updated


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