Golden Anniversary Edition
of BVI Festival ready to go!
On the 4th
August 1834, the proclamation for the abolition of slavery in the BVI was read
from the Sandbox Tree, which stood on the site of the Sunday Morning Well in
Road Town. Since then, each year British Virgin Islanders have celebrated the
day to honour our freedom.
Festival is a long-standing cultural event in the life of every Virgin
Islander. Many citizens, on a voluntary basis, have formed ad hoc committees
year after year to organize the festivities. Earlier documentation showed that
an organized committee existed in the mid 1950s under the chairmanship of the
then Administrator Hon H. A. C Howard.
In addition to
lots of eating and drinking, festival celebrations were held in the form of
picnics, dances and sporting events such as flat races and horse racing. It was
also reported that in 1922, Major Peebles suggested that a fair be held to raise
funds for the building of a hospital. This was done and from 1923 or 1924 it
seems that the Anglican and Methodist Churches alternated the organization of a
“ Fete on the Field” on the Old recreation Ground in Road Town.
celebrations moved away from the traditional picnics and sporting activities and
took on another organizational form in 1953 when the late Dr. Norwell Harrigan
chaired a committee to observe the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
II. The citizens were so impressed with the forms and colours of the troupes
and floats which added to the celebrations, that they asked why not have this
at August Festival time?
activities for Road Town will kick off on Friday July 23rd at the
Eileen Parsons Heritageville. To date some of the activities which have taken
place include, the presentation of the 2004 Miss British Virgin Islands
contestants, the local calypso preliminaries, prefestival tramps and other fund
are looking forward to the traditional August Monday Parade which is expected to
be the biggest to date. Though the number of troupes is yet to be confirmed
parade entries are expected to easily surpass the participation level in year’s
To reign over
the parade six young ladies will compete for the title of Miss British Virgin
Islands 2004 . They include: Ms. Tameeka George, Stephanie Brewley, Anne Marie
Baltimore, Tamika Burke, Sharlita Millington and Maquita Richards. The sponsors
of these young ladies include: Popeye’s Service Station, Ocean Conversion BVI
Ltd, Newton Construction,, Aqua Design ( BVI) Ltd, Skelton Group of Companies,
QWOMAR Trading and the Development Bank of the Virgin Islands.
2004 will also
see a reunion of former Festival Queens. All but two are still alive. They
will be expected to make appearances at the Miss BVI Pageant, other village
activities the parade and the August Tuesday Horse Races. Two floats are
expected to be included in the parade where these 48 women may be seen. The
Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee provided the below list of former
Queens since 1954:
Malone (deceased )
Benjamin (deceased )
Penn (Title renamed Miss British Virgin Islands)
promises to be great. There is everything from the fungi greats like the
Lashing Dogs and Stanley and the , Nu Vibes, the Mighty Sparrow and Calypso
Rose, Maxi Priest, Red Fox, the Mighty Chalkdust, Talpree, Iwa George, Denise
Plumber and the list goes on and one. A number of local bands and artists have
produced many new and great releases as well. Thirty booths will provide all
the local delicacies and refreshments. Additionally a coney island is also
planned to provide all the thrills members of the family.
2004 promises to be one of the GREATEST EVER! This year we should also see
results from the efforts which were undertaken by the BVI Tourist Board’s year
long promotional campaigns to help promote the event. From the US East Coast
alone the numbers promise to be quite higher than usual. Residents have been
asked to open their homes and vacant apartments to help accommodate some of the
visitors and numerous family members returning home for the countless unions
which are planned.
festival is estimated to cost a total of $ 1 million dollars with the government
committing to provide 50% of the funds required.
Eileen L. Parsons
Education and Culture
© 2004 by SUN ENTERPRISES (B.V.I.) LTD.
PUBLISHERS OF THE ISLAND
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