Considering that Jounen Kweyol was more or less a complete wash out in 2010, people came back this year eager and excited to take in St Lucia’s premier Creole Festival this year. Thankfully there were no disappointments in terms of a ‘Tomas part two’ coming through, which was something most people talked about as the day neared. Apart from the scattered showers weather reports predicted, bad weather was the last thing to worry about this year.
The search for the ultimate Creole experience took St Lucians to communities like Dennery, Anse La Raye, Laborie and other areas on Sunday, October 30. For most the occasion was all about getting in touch with their Creole roots, and appreciating the island’s culture, particularly music, food and old time traditions. Needless to say Jounen Kweyol was for a lot of people more of a food festival than anything else, where one could take in the best of Creole music in the midst of great company and basically eat any and everything under the sun!
In Anse La Raye on Sunday there was an entire program of activities planned out, which included a masquerade through the village organized by the Soufriere Action Theatre, performances by the Cecilian Rays, steel pan music and Calypso performances. There were a host of activities taking place in the fishing village and as part of the occasion elderly folks were shown appreciation for their contributions in various areas including farming, fishing, teaching, sports and more.
Despite the usual traffic getting from place to place, every venue was packed with people from all over the island. Traffic into Dennery was a nightmare, and the mud once people got there later in the day was a slight setback. One thing’s for sure as it is every year; early birds certainly got the best of everything. Some people set out from the early hours, had breakfast in one place, lunch in another and an overall good time at every other venue if they chose to brave the traffic and take it all in. There’s nothing quite like the food that comes out around Creole time—green fig and salt fish, bouillon, floats, breadfruit with salt fish, salted sardines or smoked herring, crab callalou, bwigo, roasted breadfruit, crayfish, local juices, cocoa tea and more. Those who stayed home with their own
family occasions had just as good of a time, making the national festival one of the biggest annual celebrations in St Lucia!