By anguillian August 21, 2017 12:08



August Thursday 2017, just gone, has seen its largest celebration in recent years, reminiscent to some extent of the former years when it was a very big musical and cultural event.

With today’s style and genre of music, and a continued emphasis on keeping the traditional sport of boat racing as a centrepiece of that activity, Meads Bay has again become a hot spot for what is now an annual festival in its own right.

One of the elated persons is the Elected Representative for the West End/Long Bay Constituency, Mr. Cardigan Connor. Aided by an active “West Fest” Committee, Connor, who is the Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Sports, has expressed much satisfaction with how the August Thursday event has sprung back to life. He, the Committee members and, indeed the people of West End/Meads Bay, are also grateful to the Connor family there who made available an expansive beach land area for the event. That space, is substituting well for the previous area which was taken over by hotel and tourism development over the years.

“I think the event has steadily grown much over the last three years,” Connor said. “We started with the Crossfire Band out of Barbados last year, and then we brought in the WCK out of Dominica; and this year we have had the original Burning Flames as our main band.”

He went on: “I think many Anguillians wanted to see Meads Bay come back to life, and I must say many thanks to the members of the West Fest Committee who came together to make it happen. We are thankful to the Connor family who allowed us to clear the land they own – for this special event.

“There were eleven boats in the B class race and twelve in the A class race so there was a large number of boat racers as well. What made it stand out more than Sandy Ground, on August Monday, was that the Meads Bay event seemed to have been a family reunion with people coming back from St. Thomas, the United States, England and of course St. Martin/St. Maarten. The large crowd of returning Anguillians appeared to have said that with the person standing next to you, there is a strong Anguillian connection – while at Sandy Ground it was more like a beach party with many strangers having been there. But each event offered something that was unique.

“For us at West End, who made sure that boat racing and other festivities come back to life at Meads Bay, we are pleased with what we have done so that many people came and supported us. As we go forward, I would like to think that we have once again established Meads Bay as a place to be on August Thursday and that is what we will continue to work towards.”

Mr. Connor took the opportunity to put in a plug for the sponsors. “Without them we would have been in trouble. We must say thank you to Willis and his staff at Tropical Distributors for their efforts; the Government of Anguilla; the Anguilla Tourist Board, FLOW, Parts Haven which through Terry, who is originally from Meads Bay, continues to support us; Paradise Cove and so many others including Dave from Mango’s Seaside Grill who constantly supplies us with ice. Some people might not think that is a great deal but when you want a drink on a hot day, there is nothing better than a cold drink. We also must thank a number of vendors from West End who also supported us specially when there were so many persons at the event. Among other community members – we want to thank Lynette Romney who was still barbecuing chicken at 11 o’clock in the night. She desperately wanted to play her role and I think that she more than did so.”

Mr. Connor and the West Fest Committee have also acknowledged the contributions of the North Sound Band, singer Shea Shea, and the Pantha Vides Band which attracted a number of its supporters. “We thank all of them for adding much to the success of August Thursday at Meads Bay,” he stated.

Connor added: “We are also grateful to Carimar Beach Club, our next door neighbour, and its understanding guests for allowing us to enjoy August Thursday and to play music until midnight. We want to thank everybody who turned out – and as we go forward it is not just about Meads Bay. It is about us a people coming together on a special occasion.”

By anguillian August 21, 2017 12:08


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