Few things are more Saint Lucian than enjoying hot, grilled fish and a cold beer on a Friday night in Anse La Raye. Operating as an event for both locals and tourists, Anse La Raye Fish Friday had easily established itself as a staple in the west coast fishing village. Although the event was essentially the identity of Anse La Raye, various shortcomings heralded the end of the beloved Anse La Raye Fish Friday. However, at November 27’s pre-Cabinet press briefing, Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee was “delighted to say that we are back”: after a six-month hiatus, the Anse La Raye Fish Friday was re-launched on Friday December 1.
Speaking in his capacities as both Anse La Raye district representative and as minister for tourism, Fedee explained that “a lot of the people in the village depend on the fish fry for economic sustenance, and tourists get a great opportunity to sample part of our heritage”. Fedee also noted that hotels had been notified of the re-launching and that there “was a lot of excitement from the tourism community”.
Finella Williams, a member of the organising committee for the Anse La Raye Fish Friday, emphasized the positive impacts of the event on her community: “It has not only benefitted the vendors but also the small businesses, fishers and farmers.” For her, the lure of “good cuisine, great aesthetics and great personalities” should help to push the success of Fish Friday this time around.
Both Fedee and Williams underscored the importance of rectifying the shortcomings in order to boost crowd generation at the event. According to Williams, “One of our biggest problems was pricing and it is a problem we are trying to get under control”. Many vendors had previously been accused of overpricing the products. With the occurrence of meetings and training workshops, Williams indicated that measures had been put in place to ensure prices were fair and well displayed. Vendors were also trained in customer service to maximize the experience offered to patrons.
Fedee noted that the re-launch of Anse La Raye Fish Friday would span an entire month of events. Apart from the grand re-launch on Friday December 1, Thursday December 7 and 14 will feature events targeted at cruisers from the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), branded as ‘ARC Thursdays’. Nonetheless, locals are invited to attend. On the last Friday of December, a unique ‘Creole-style Christmas jam’ will be the event to look out for. Apart from the culinary delicacies and live entertainment, small craft vendors will display their wares.
Williams expressed hope that the newly revamped Anse La Raye Fish Friday will become a place where people can have a good time after work with their friends, or sit with their family and enjoy the ambiance and festive vibes.
Last night’s events featured local artiste Ricky T and performers from Anse La Raye including Herb Black, Black Pearl and the Fundamental Dancers.