Brick Kiln-Nevis– Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, officially declared Winfes’ 11 officially opened, at a brief ceremony, held at the Brick Kiln hard court, on the evening of Thursday 1st June. The festival this year, is being held under the distinguished patronage of long serving musical genius, Frank Mills.
The hard court which is the actual village center for the main activities for the annual festival, was sparsely populated but chairperson for the opening ceremony and founding member of the festival, Mr. Perlievan DON Wilkin, noted that it was no surprise, as the folks normally did not show up in their numbers for the opening ceremony, but would show up for the jamming and the shows.
He also used his opening remarks to give a historical overview of the festival and declared that it was the only local festival on Nevis, which has lasted for 11 consecutive years.
He also paid tribute to the business places within the St. James’ area, which have come forward in the bid to ensure the survival of the festival and would sponsor and lead out in the activities, leaving the committee only to coordinate.
He also paid tribute to the involvement this year of the Ministry of Social Development, in a significant way, led by PS Glasgow, who ensured that for the first time in the history of the festival, the calypso king will receive $2,000.00 and the first runner up will get a whopping $1,500.00. Previously, the king was paid a maximum of $750.00.
He also paid tribute to the work and commitment of Mrs. Janet Meloney, Director of Community Development, who worked overtime to ensure that the festival was held this year and even ensured that a record eleven calypsonians will be participating in the upcoming calypso show.
Also addressing the gathering, was Permanent Secretary Mr. Glasgow who congratulated the Winfes’ committee on their longevity and perseverance. He also paid tribute to the work done by Mrs. Janet Meloney and the local businesses in the area.
He used the opportunity to indicate that such festivals could serve as a means of leading the youths away from deviant behaviour and also a means of developing skills that can mature into business endeavours.
He then declared the festival officially open.
Interspersed with the speeches, some of the local talent from the parish was showcased during the opening ceremony and all of the acts were well received.
These included: Ranciato Jeffers who rendered the national anthem on pan; Sherrill Sutton who delivered a poem in her usual robust fashion; some youthful clowns from the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation who stirred the audience with their dance moves; Juanita GEORGINA Roberts who wowed the audience with her rendition of ‘We are the world;’ Delcy and Chelcy Burke, the talented twins, who presented separate pieces on pan; the fantasy girls, a youthful group of dancers who also thrilled the audience with their dance to MEEKO’S ‘Nevis nice.’
Mrs. Janet Meloney read the intriguing profile of the patron, Mr. Frank Mills, who she indicated would have been involved with various musical bands throughout his many years of entertaining audiences throughout Nevis and also in St.Kitts.
She then presented him with a fruit basket and a plaque.
Frank’s cousin, Keithly Brandy aka SNOWFLAKES, then sung an original blues piece, in honour of his celebrated cousin, which was well received. Frank in his response, did it the best way he knows how and that was by rendering a song of his own.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Perlievan Wilkin.
The schedule of events to come as part of the festival is as follows:
Friday 2nd June—Calypso show featuring: Rayko-B; Daddy Nature; West Side; Losman (defending king); Hollywood; Young J; Mighty Sookie; Mighty All-out; Lady Hammond; Invincible and Mighty J-(at the village)
Saturday 3rd June—Car rally at 3 pm from Charlestown to Drag raceway
Winfes’ fashion show at Ocean Reef bar at Pizza beach-4 to 10 pm
Festival dance at Dick’s bar-10pm to 4 am with Odisi Band; Small Axe and Blackstone family
Sunday 4th June—Cricket festival (CPL style) at VOJN grounds-1pm until
Drag racing at St. James’ raceway-1 to 6 pm
Sound clash between five competing DJ’s at the Village-9pm to 3 am
Monday 5th June-J’ouvert from Village to Herbert’s Beach with Odisi Band-5am to 12.00 noon
Win Fes-Family day at the beach with Ultimate band and Kore band-1 pm to 8 pm