I’m a huge fan of Caribbean cultural festivals. On Friday, all roads led to the newly refurbished Cultural Village on the heart of the island. Randy Jeffers of Lime Bar and Grill also hosted a special Culturama Bingo where islanders won cash prizes up to $15,000.
It’s been nearly 10 years since I last visited the Cultural Village for the festival. The village had a make over just in time for Culturama 43 and looks fantastic! It has the WOW factor. When I entered the new modern entrance, the bright colours stunned me. 10 colourful containers replaced the wooden food booths.
$1.7 million EC was invested into the refurbishment “for the people, by the people” according to officials on the night. The new VIP booth or “De Upper Lounge” as it is formerly known overlooks the entire venue as you enter the village. The Rose Garden commonly known as the “Bull Pen”, inside of the village was also refurbished and as usual for Culturama, a DJ entertained the crowd during the night. Amongst other things, the village was filled with bright lights throughout the venue and onto the stage, festive décor and decent bathrooms. One of the platinum sponsors is FLOW – the cell phone company, so I would have liked there to be free open Wi-Fi Internet.
It was refreshing to see so many vendors, however, most food was finished by 11pm so come early to avoid disappointment. Booths vendors could advertise their business names, to add a personal touch so that they are easily recognised. Overall, the appearance of the village welcomes all. The village will be the lime for many of the activities. If you haven’t been down there, what are you waiting for?
The festivities began with an opening prayer from Father Dean Smithen. There were very few people at the beginning. Once the programme started, it moved along smoothly as more people started to arrive. The audience heard from officials such as the Chairman of the Culturama Committee, the Assistant PS for Tourism, Culture & Info and the Minister of Tourism, Culture & Info. There was a ticket giveaway by the Cultural Committee and acknowledgements of three booth holders that have been occupying booths for the past 22 years.
More people entered village in time for the special Culturama Bingo for a chance to win the jackpot. There were three games and during the last interval, the host Randy had what he called ‘exotic entertainment’. Randy kept the crowd entertained with his famous bingo calling such as “under the G for Grand Masters band”. Customers who purchased bingo cards received a $10 voucher for Lime Bingo at the end of this month. Three lucky winners won the jackpot. Randy also gave the winners a ticket to the Emoji Boat ride featuring Grand Masters band, Extasy, Hellfire and Blackstone.
After the jackpot bingo game, as advertised, Grand Masters entertained the crowd until morning. They put on quite a show. Whilst Grand Masters put on a great performance, a Nevisian band or artist should have been included for the re-opening of the Cultural Village, remarked a few locals commented that. That’s a file.
Overall the re-opening of the Cultural Village was a spectacular event. The entire night, the crowd were kept entertained, there was a variety of vendors to choose from and the programme moved along smoothly. The Culturama Bingo was a good way to bring people into the village for the event. Grand Masters kept the crowd moving until morning. The village was packed, the atmosphere was nice, and people seemed to be having a good time, myself included. So let “de Caribbean’s greatest summer lime” continue.
There was no bacchanal corner on Friday 14 July; however, it will be returning next Friday 21st July. Coming up – there are a number of shows that are leading up to the Grand Opening of Culturama 43. The highly anticipated Wet Fete is also on next week Friday. In the words of soca artist Farmer Nappy “this fete not missing me”. I’ll see you there.
Up and coming events include:
- Friday July 21st
- Nevis Heritage Day, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Bacchanal Corner, 4:00 pm
- Culturama 43 Wet Fete, 9:00 pm
- Saturday July 22nd Soca Monarch Semi-finals Contest, 8:00 pm
- Sunday July 23nd Beach Lime, 5:00 pm
For more information, check out the calendar of events. Just in case you missed the announcement, you can enhance your festival experience with the Nevis Culturama App, available from the Google or Apple Store.
Dominique, the “LOCAL FOREIGNER”
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