The word is definitely out that Montserrat is a unique destination in which to celebrate St. Patrick’s.
More than 200 people came over by ferry and plane on Thursday to celebrate the national holiday. One British couple told Discover it was an impulse to do so as they were already in Antigua and heard about the festival.
The Slave Feast was held in the Salem Heritage Village, which this year was expanded to allow for more booths. This was a welcome addition as the village was packed to capacity well into the night.
Editor of The Montserrat Reporter Bennette Roach remarked that he does not remember a St. Patrick’s Day event with this large a crowd since the volcanic eruptions began in 1995.
While estimates vary as to the numbers who came on island for the festival, it is fair to say that most of them are Montserratian nationals living in the US and the UK. This could be seen in the increased participation in the annual parade, which featured a group from the Montserrat Progressive Society of New York. They presented a representation of the 1768 uprising. The colourful parade was led by the Antigua & Barbuda Police Band. The Antigua Iron Band added their usual infectious beats and a local iron band did the same from the rear.
The Sankofa group paid tribute to national heroes living and past. Attired in traditional Rastafarian and African garb, the men and women held cards showing the faces of living legends such as Rose Willock and Sir Howard Fergus and Montserrat’s newest national hero Arrow, the Soca King of the World.
Making an appearance during the closing activities was the reigning Miss Montserrat Tabeanna Tuitt and the current Miss Jaycees Caribbean Sharissa Ryan.
ZJB’s morning personality Basil Chambers managed the closing festivities, which included performances by the Volpanics, the Matrixx Dancers, calypsonians Baptiste, Ice Man and Sylk.
The 10-day festival culminates this weekend but as St. Patrick’s Day has come to an end, we wanted to share some of the highlights of the week.
More photos are available in our St. Patrick’s Festival album on the Discover Montserrat Facebook page.