Nevis Culturama 43 #WOOTOOP
As a Brit who has family roots on the island, I was given the title, the ‘local foreigner’ because although I grew up in England, I feel like a true island girl and Nevis, also known as “The Queen of the Caribbean” has the key to my heart. From a baby, I have been visiting the island. Although my grandparents migrated to England, they always came back home before they finally settled back on the island. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my perspective and experiences during the festival “de Caribbean’s greatest summer lime!” as the official blogger for Culturama.
Culturama 43 warm up
Some will say Nevis is boring (read about that here). However, Culturama 43 is warming up nicely! The last time I experienced the festival was nearly 10 years ago. Although the official activities are from July 27th to August 8th to get everyone in the spirit there are also pre activities.
“Bacchanal Corner” is a weekly event on Friday afternoons in town (Charlestown). There were a number of performances on stage into the early evening. Some of the soca monarch contests performed what could be their award wining songs. Delly Ranks from Kore band performed as the sun set. He will be in England this summer celebrating Leeds 50th anniversary of carnival. He’s also planning to be at Notting Hill carnival too. DJ Woodis and Selecta Mad performed they had the crowd saying “WOOTOOP! – That’s a file”. WOOTOOP is an expression that
translates to “bam” or “in your face” and ‘that’s a file’ refers to a case file against someone/something said or done.
The Talented Youth Pageant event began with a small parade where the young people came out in their sections, with bright colours or accessories to compliment their outfits. The St. Kitts Junior Defence Force drummers who followed the parade had a lot of energy in their performance.
The pageant contestants included a male and female student, each representing eight of the nine primary schools. Parents came out to support their children and representative schools.
When we arrived at the Cove, the current (electricity power) went out during the first performance. That’s a file!
The Junior Calypsonians introduced themselves with A LOT of confidence. The reigning calypsonian king boldly told the audience that he would be keeping the crown. This show is guaranteed to be full of energy from the young people and their parent supporters.
At the end of the youth show was the unveiling of the Fun Lovers costume troupe, where models showed off their bright feathers in a number of band sections. I think I should go on the road!
Cultural Village Makeover & Culturama Bingo
For this event, all roads led to the newly refurbished Cultural Village on the heart of the island. There was also a special Culturama Bingo where islanders won cash prizes totalling $15,000.
$1.7 million EC (approximately £515,151 or nearly $63,000 US) was invested into the village make over, just in time for Culturama 43. It has the WOW factor. The new VIP “Upper Lounge” overlooks the entire venue as you enter the village. What is commonly known as the “Bull Pen”, inside of the village was also refurbished and usually has a DJ for Culturama after the shows. The village was filled with bright lights and festive decor throughout and decent new bathrooms.The festivities began with a short re-opening ceremony, but more people arrived at the village in time for the special Culturama Bingo and a chance to win the jackpot. Three lucky winners won the $10,000 jackpot.
After the jackpot bingo game, the Grand Masters band from the sister island St. Kitts entertained the crowd until morning. Whilst Grand Masters put on quite a great performance, a few people commented that a Nevisian band or artist should have been included for the re-opening of the Cultural Village. That’s a file.
I’m excited about the Wet Fete next week. In the words of soca artist Farmer Nappy “this fete not missing me”.
Check out my weekly updates at www.culturamanevis.com