masqueraders

Montserrat kicks off ArrowFest 2010

String Band performing during the opening of ArrowFest 2010 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre on Friday, December 17, 2010. (Photo by Nerissa Golden - GIU)

BRADES, Montserrat – Are You Ready? Alright Then! ArrowFest 2010 has begun! On Friday evening, the festival was officially opened at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, which will serve as the main arena for many of the key events this season.

View Highlights here….

Minister of Agriculture Easton Taylor-Farrell who is also a minister of religion, gave the opening prayer and reigning Calypso Monarch Sylvina “Candie” Malone sang the national song.

Throughout the evening, performances were given by the Shamrock Masqueraders and the String Band, with appearances from the contestants in the MonFest Queen and the Sunrise Productions Teen pageants.

Following the passing of the Soca King of the World Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell MBE in September, the Montserrat Festival Committee (MonFest) renamed the annual cultural festival ArrowFest, to honor the legacy of an artist, businessman and friend who placed Montserrat on the world stage.

Chairman of MonFest Gregory Willock said despite the challenges of the past year, the festival promises to be one to remember. The main concerts and competitions will be held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, the street parades will take place in the village of Salem, while other activities will happen around the island. This, he said makes ArrowFest an island-wide event. He thanked all of the committee members and private organizations who have been working tirelessly to bring the festival to fruition.

Minister of Education Colin Riley officially opened ArrowFest 2010 and commended the many volunteers who help to make the festival happen annually. “Volunteers give of their time, talent and treasure to help us as we go through the four major festivals in our year…Calabash Festival, the (Alliouagana) Literary Festival, St. Patrick’s Week and ArrowFest.”

Shamrock Masqueraders performing at the opening of ArrowFest 2010 (Photo by Nerissa Golden - GIU)

The official also called for the continued teaching of the masquerade dance and that it must be included in the island’s cultural policy. He admitted to not knowing the traditional dance and desired that every national should learn it and enable its continuity through the ages.

ArrowFest 2010 is primarily sponsored by the Government of Montserrat through the Office of the Chief Minister and the platinum sponsor is the telecommunications provider LIME. Fly Montserrat, Tradewinds Real Estate and the Royal Bank of Canada are also key supporters.

View Highlights here….

Watch ArrowFest 2010 live online on www.zjb.gov.ms.

View pictures from each ArrowFest 2010 event on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-of-Montserrat/103640209673708.

Montserrat makes top 10 list of places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

shamrock masqueradersBRADES – Thanks to a major promotional push from the Montserrat Tourist Board and its marketing partners in the US, Montserrat has made ABC News Top Ten list of locations to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Montserrat is number five on the list, depicted in a slideshow of parades, locations, and other activities to celebrate the March 17th Irish holiday.

An image of Monsterrat’s Shamrock Masqueraders is used to represent the island in the slideshow featured on the national network’s website.

Visit the link here… http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/slideshow/st-patricks-day-parties-10043596

The caption under the photo reads: “The Caribbean island of Montserrat is the only country outside of Ireland that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday. The island was the home of indentured Irish Catholic servants in the British West Indies and today the country has a week-long festival to commemorate the slave uprising that occurred there during St. Patrick’s Day in 1768.”

Ireland is the only other international destination featured in the slideshow, with all other locations being in various American states with large Irish populations.

St. Patrick’s Day festivities begin today, Friday March 12 with a fete and end next Saturday, March 20 with the junior calypso competition.

A full schedule of the week’s activities is available on www.gov.ms and on www.visitmontserrat.com.

ENDS

Photo caption: Shamrock Masqueraders are part of the Montserrat’s celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day.(Montserrat Tourist Board)