By: Gavincia Clarke
(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- St. James Parish Community festival, Winfes has announced five days of exciting activities that will run from Thursday, May 21, 2015 up to Whit Monday, May 25 2015, for Winfes 9.
‘Winfes’, abbreviation for ‘Windward Festival’, is derived from the local name for the St. James’ Parish, Windward, and is also the only parish festival in Nevis.
This year the festival is in its ninth year and it will be celebrated under the theme ‘Be Safe- No Violent Outburst; Safety First’.
Speaking with Nevispages, Chairman of ‘Winfes’, Mr. Pearlievan ‘Don’ Wilkin said the event officially started in 2007 by a Brick Kiln group, and the event has blossomed into one of the most anticipated event over the years.
According to Wilkin the event will kick off on Thursday, May 21, 2015 with a Candy Shop Lime at Barnaby. Judgment Sound and Extasy Sound will provide entertainment.
On Friday, May 22, 2015 there will be a cultural presentation, featuring models at the White Hall Hard Court. Grand Masters Band from St. Kitts and The Sexy Band will provide entertainment for this event.
Then on Saturday, May 23, 2015, the Sport Department will host a Fun Sports and Relay Meet from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the VOJN Grounds. There will also be a Spear Fishing Competition at Long Haul Bay from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. On that same evening, Winfes’ traditional dance kicks off at Dicks Bar from 10:00 p.m. Small Axe Band and Extasy Sound will be in attendance.
On Sunday, May 24, 2015 all road will lead to the St. James Racetrack for a Drag Racing Meet with participants from St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla and Montserrat. In the evening, the Squeeze Up Bar will host its Pre- Jouvert Shell Down Jam and DJ Sound Clash at the White Hall Hard Court from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
The curtains will come down on Whit Monday with a J’ouvert Morning Jam from 6:00 a.m. from the hard-court at White Hall to Herbert’s Beach. Small Axe Band will be the band on the road alongside Judgment Sound.
The activities will conclude at Herbert’s Beach for the Herbert’s Beach Family Lime. The Kore Band, Small Axe Band, Selecta Bobby and Extasy Sound will bring the session to a close.
According to Chairperson Wilkin, the preparation is going smoothly. However, he admitted that the preparatory measures for this year’s celebrations were not an easy task, especially with a number of hiccups from the Odisi Band.
He indicated that the Odisi Band had withdrawn from all events for ‘Winfes 9’, causing a bit of controversy from Odisi fans on social media.
Wilkin informed this media house that the Odisi Band had raised its fees to sums that the committee could not afford. He stated that the Odisi Band jumped from a fee of $2500.00 charged, for playing for J’ouvert in 2014, to $3500.00 for this year’s J’ouvert. Additionally, the band demanded that if it played for the Herbert’s Beach Family Lime, then it would charge an additional $2000.00 E.C.
Wilkin stated because of economic reasons, Small Axe Band was recommended for J’ouvert and the Winfes Committee supported the idea to have Small Axe as the band to jam on the road for J’ouvert morning.
Wilkin further stated that in an effort to get Odisi Band onboard for ‘Winfes 9’, he communicated to the manager of the Odisi Band, Kenroy ‘Balley’ Warner. He said he told Warner, that he should swallow his pride and honor his commitment to play for the dance, since he had already confirmed to play and since posters and ads had already been published. Wilkin said he also informed the manager that they ought to have gone on the internet and clear up this ‘mess’ that the non participation by Odisi had created.
At the end of it all, Wilkin indicated that the Odisi Band decided to withdraw from this year’s ‘Winfes 9’.
He saluted Carib Brewery for their assistance once again through sponsorship and is looking forward for their continuous support in the future. He also commended the Nevis Housing and Lands Development Corporation, Lefco, HTRIP, Delta Petroleum, TDC, RAMS Ltd, Best Buy Supermarket and other sponsors for their advocacy.
The ‘Winfes 9’ committee is confident that this year’s event would be spectacular.The Chairman also used the opportunity to invite the general public to come on out and support all the events for the St. James Parish festival.