By: St.Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- All roads led to the Charlestown Waterfront on the afternoon of Thursday, July 21, 2016 for the official launch of Culturama 2016 under the theme ‘Celebrating the Old! Showcasing the New! Culturama 42!
Under the patronage of the Soul Survivors Band, the venue was filled to capacity with sponsors, government officials and supporters of the festival.
The afternoon proceedings got on the way with the National Anthem.
The event was chaired by Ms. Lorna Hunkins. She told those in attendance, that she was pleased to be a part of such a significant occasion. She also noted that we should always remember the persons who had the foresight to bring about the event in 1974, as we celebrate this year’s festival.
Mrs. Deborah Tyrell, Chairperson of Nevis Cultural Development Foundation gave some brief remarks. She stated that Culturama has grown drastically over the years. Mrs. Tyrell pointed out that she hope that everyone has an enjoyable festival and the event is only what we make it.
The participants for the Talented Youth Pageant were introduced by Ms. Cliandre Evelyn and Ms. Candy Freeman, introduced the contestants for Mr. Kool and Miss Swimwear.
There were performances by the masqueraders, clowns and the reigning Junior Calypso Monarch, the Mighty Sookie.
Three persons, who have supported Culturama wholeheartedly over the years, received tickets for the entire festival. According to Ms. Hunkins, the committee decided that Sylvester Pemberton of Cotton Ground, Shelly Taylor of Bath Village and Judy Prentice of Brown Hill have supported Culturama to the point where it won’t be any fun without them. She indicated that as a result of their support, the committee has decided to show them their appreciation. Shelly and Judy dance onto the stage and Sylvester sent the crowd into frenzy when he somersaulted backwards. The recipients thanked the committee for the kind gesture given to them.
Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister responsible for Culture also gave some remarks. He said that he was proud to be associated with Culture as the Minister, and he always looks forward to the event. Brantley also applauded the persons who are involved in the planning of the event, noting that they are always under pressure to make the festival worthwhile. He continued, “If you don’t do you are criticized and if you do you are still criticized. However, criticism can be good at times to make us do better”.
The Minister also appealed to the public at large to once again make the festival free of crime. He indicated that for the past three consecutive years persons have been on their best behaviour and he wishes for that sort of behaviour to continue. In closing, Brantley noted that he was proud of the persons who had received tickets to attend the various shows. He said, “Let me acknowledge my good friend Sylvester, my good friend Shelly and my cousin Judy for getting these tickets because whether NRP or CCM, rain or shine they are always in attendance and I want to congratulate them. He then pronounced the festival open.