ANGUILLA SUMMER FESTIVAL: A TIME TO BE MERRY

anguillian
By anguillian August 21, 2017 12:24

 

The 2017 Anguilla Summer Festival, which overcame what may have been an initial financial challenge, has run its course and has had its successes in most, if not all, of its varied forms of merry-making events and series of boat-races.

The Summer Festival, or carnival season, as it is interchangeably called, is Anguilla’s premier annual event which attracts hundreds of visitors from far and near, boosting the island’s tourism arrival statistics and contributing in some measure to the economy.

Apart from the crowded nightly shows at the Landsome Bowl Cultural Centre, other largely-attended events were J’ouvert, a mass jam session to Road Bay, Sandy Ground, culminating in the Caribbean Beach Party which was privately out-sourced this year; and the Parade of Troupes in the Upper Valley and Wallblake area. A plus this year was the peaceful nature of the festival and the encouraging message it sent both to visitors and residents.

For the first time, the Anguilla Summer Festival was led by a female chairlady in the person of Ms. Lisa Rey, a noted public relations personality who previously served in another capacity on the Government-appointed organising committee.

The following is a press release from the Anguilla Summer Festival Commission:

“The 2017 Anguilla Summer Festival has ended successfully!
“This year unlike years prior, the Anguilla Summer Festival Committee(ASFC)/Interim Committee for the Festivals Commission were all aware that it would be one of the most challenging years. Financially we were working with minimal funds, a lack of resources in the Festivals Office and not much manpower. We nonetheless decided that we would still push through to have the usual 10 plus day of events, against previous recommendations to have a compressed weekend Summer Festival.
“Our success could not have been possible without our marriage to the Ministry of Culture and the Department of Youth and Culture. When presented with the changes to the schedule we were initially hesitant, however, we understood the reasoning behind them and decided to open our minds to ‘change’. Some changes were welcomed and some weren’t, and adaptations were made to adjust accordingly. Nevertheless, we were aware that it allowed more private promoters to come on board, an extension of the August Thursday Beach Party and a week of non-stop feting. It is expected that there will be a revisit of the schedule again this year and we will welcome public suggestions before doing so.
“Thankfully, we ended the 2017 Summer Festival with low incident reports and no tragedies, thanks to the superb skills of Sheriff Security and the Royal Anguilla Police Force. On both ends they are to be credited for their presence which ensured a much more heightened sense of security. We were blessed with more CCTV and drone devices and a higher armed police presence.
“As expected, opinions of the Festival this year vary, however the team must be commended nonetheless for their efforts. These included long nights, day long meetings, failed sponsorship acquisitions, character attacks, investing personal funds into different shows etc, yet they pushed through.
“Much gratitude to the team; Shayne Thompson – Deputy Chair of the ASFC, Chair of Opening Night, Band Clash and J’ouvert Morning, Cleonette Lake – Financial Controller, Katrina Richardson – Chair of the Leeward Islands Calypso Monarch Competition, Lloyd Gumbs – Chairperson of Parade of Troupes, Rochelle Brooks – Chairperson of the Miss Anguilla Pageant, Rebecca Webster – Representative of ANCA, Keanu Belle – Cultural Interest, Joseph Gumbs – Chair of Calypso, Romie Kelsick – Chair of the Talented Teen Committee and Atrene Pemberton – Chair of Boatracing
“Mr. Bren Romney, Director of Youth and Culture deserves high praises for his undying contribution this year, as in previous years. His commitment to juggle his daily job functions in addition to assisting with the preparations leading up the Summer Festival should not go unnoticed. We were blessed once again to work along with him as he shared his knowledge and skills as well as was open to many suggestions made by the ASFC.
“As we work until the end of our contracts, November 2017, we hope that within that time we can start an earlier push for the Summer Festival 2018. A financial report for this year’s Festival will also be publicised before that time.
“Thanks is also being extended to the other sub-committee members our revellers – local and foreign, booth owners, sponsors, vendors and private promoters ( O’leary Richardson – Eyes Wide Shut, Indy Bailey and Diction Edwards – Soca Relapse, Wendell ‘Bonty’ Herbert – Poker Run, Sean Promotor Fitzpatrick – Wet Fete and Cooler Fete and Jade Reymond – FLOW Soca Rave) for their contribution. It is through you I deem the 2017 Summer Festival a success!
“Congrats as well to all the winners of the various competitions! Your participation was invaluable! Your participation made it great!
“Mention must also be given to Clemvio Hodge and Gesel Hodge from What We Do In Anguilla, for so willingly assisting with the marketing of the Festival through Facebook. Their innovation and assistance was appreciated.
“Let’s continue to let Boat Racing, Pageantry and Culture, Reign Supreme!”

anguillian
By anguillian August 21, 2017 12:24

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