By anguillian June 12, 2017 12:33




With an abundance of cultural activities mainly a variety of traditional food, string band music, other attractions as well as an ‘old time’ calypso competition’, the annual Welches Village Fest was the biggest Whit Monday holiday event in Anguilla.

From early in the morning, people began streaming into the well-decorated Frederick O. Harrigan Playing Field for the festive occasion. The area was attractively decorated both for the celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution and for the festival itself. Crowded and colourful, it was a scene of tremendous preparation by the organisers and an attraction for the many residents, from throughout the island, as well as visitors.
Mr. Othlyn Vanterpool, a member of the organising committee, spoke to The Anguillian about the event. “This is our ninth year of staging the festival,” he explained. “We started ten years ago but we skipped one year when our main organiser was off island. We are pleased with the way it is going so far and we are hoping it will continue to go forward from strength to strength.”

He went on: “This year seems to be pretty in line with what has been happening. There is a boat race and so we know that quite a number of folks are there but will be coming up to see the main activity – a calypso competition – later. People are coming out in their numbers.”
Mr. Vanterpool could not say what the cost was of a sizeable event like the Welches Fest. “It costs us a quite a bit,” he nevertheless said. “We spent a lot of money in things like tents to make sure we have the necessary coverage especially with a very hot day and to provide shelter for our guests. We also spent a lot of money on entertainment and for the food. For the music, we have two string bands, the Nyabingy Rastafarian drummers and Boss and the Horsepower Band.
Asked about sponsors, the Welches Fest committee member replied: “The Government of Anguilla came again to our assistance through the Department of Youth and Culture – and the Tourist Board has again been with us this year. Malliouhana Insurance and Flow are with us. Cap Juluca again came to assist us in entertaining our senior citizens. The resort provided the food for them, as it did last year and we want to thank Cap Juluca very much. We also have Lake’s World and Ashley & Sons mainly for providing storage for most of our supplies and there are other individuals who made a few contributions here and there.”
“How effective do you think the Welches Fest is in terms of other events in Anguilla,” Vanterpool was asked.
“Well, it complements the other festivals on the island,” he replied. “I think the Welches Fest, though, is different because we are trying as much as possible to portray our cultural heritage through food, music and all the things we did when we were very young. We are certainly trying to pass on all the cultural bits of our heritage to the younger generation as far as we can.”

In addition to the Welches Village Fest, other activities included a boat race at Sandy Ground and a function by the South Hill community.

By anguillian June 12, 2017 12:33


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