Choiseul: More than Carnival

Contestants for the upcoming Miss Choiseul Pageant 2013. Photo credit: Bill Mortley

Contestants for the upcoming Miss Choiseul Pageant 2013. Photo credit: Bill Mortley

“Please don’t call it carnival,” Shari Dalson said to me when I called to get some more information about Choiseul’s repositioning and rebranding of what was once called Choiseul’s carnival. “It will be more of a cultural experience and the real name is “Blotje en Chwazey 2013,” she explained. Shari is representing the Ministry of Social Transformation and they are assisting the district of Choiseul with plans and preparations for this event.

“Blotje en Chwayzey” was launched on Sunday September 7 at Sabwisha beach in Choiseul. A large crowd comprising persons from surrounding communities as well as other parts of the island converged on the popular beach park for this event. It featured presentations by three bands participating in this year’s extravaganza, presentation of the contestants for the queen pageant as well as performances by Invader, Meshach, Boom and Soca Bandit. The organizers also unveiled the calendar of activities for this cultural celebration. The activities will commence this Friday September 13.

John Satney president of the Choiseul development foundation also spoke to the Star about this new initiative.  “We decided that we wanted to have not just another carnival but something different. We wanted this to be a part of the tourism product to show diversity in the arts and culture under a different name,” Satney says. “The idea is that hopefully  this will not just impact Saint Lucia but the diaspora as well,” he added.

After wrangling over a number of dates, Satney says his committee finally settled on the Thanksgiving October weekend to climax the event. This he said, was to allow the organizers a free space to approach sponsors away from major events like the Jazz festival and national carnival.

All structure are in place organizers informed us although they are still in the process of finalizing some of the sponsorship. Financial support however, has been confirmed by the Ministry of Tourism and the Carnival Stakeholders Committee.

This Friday September 13 “Blotje en Chwazey” kicks off with a “citron” fish lime named after the original name of Choiseul “Citron” the citrus fruit which was once found there in abundance. A second citron fish lime will be held on Friday September 20th.

Saturday September 28th the popular Miss Choiseul pageant returns at Balembouche and will feature seven contestants. The calendar of activities also includes a music festival Saturday October 5th, an art and agriculture festival, Sun October 6th. On Monday October 7 which is a national holiday there will be J’ouvert,”  followed by the parade of the bands.

The organizers say they are looking forward to nationals and visitors coming into Choiseul during the festivities and sharing in their warmth and hospitality as well as their creativity.

(more on this event the 2nite Magazine found only in the Weekend Star)

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