The St. Patrick’s Festival Committee wants to see the annual celebration contribute at least 7000 visitors to the island by 2020.
Speaking on the first edition of their new radio programme Spirit of St. Patrick’s on ZJB Radio, Events Coordinator Justin ‘Hero’ Cassell said the festival has the potential to be a major contributor to the island’s economy.
According to the Statistics department, 3050 people visited the island during March 2016 with EC$5.99 million injected into the economy. The committee wants to see that number reach 4000 this year.
During the radio show the committee said by 2020, 7000 people and about EC$8 million in the economy is their goal.
Festival Chairman David ‘Trixie’ Duberry said the St. Patrick’s Festival is getting a lot of buzz and they aim to improve the event annually to encourage more people to visit Montserrat for the week-long event.
St. Patrick’s Festival will be held March 10 – 18, 2017. In 2018, they will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the failed uprising which is a central premise of Montserrat’s celebration of March 17th.
March 16th is now called National Heroes Day with the hope that the island will pay tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed to build Montserrat.
Cassell said it was important that as the festival grows, that the intimacy of the event is not lost. He noted that it was necessary to evolve and expand the calendar of activities while ensuring to preserve “the authentic experience.”
Some of the events planned for the popular festival is a two-day business expo on March 13 and 14; T20 cricket with local and visiting teams; Junior Calypso on March 12, Miss St Patrick’s Cultural Pageant on March 15 and the Arrow Tribute Regional Soca Monarch on March 15.
St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 is a national holiday and will feature events starting at 5AM with the Freedom Jump Up and continues with activities in the village of Salem late into the night.
See the full calendar of events here…http://discovermni.com/st-patricks-festival/