Described as a “labor of love” the Virgin Islands Festival Magazine 2014 celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the annual BVI kermesse is a lavishly produced, glossy, full colour, 134-page publication that is disappearing from the news stands faster than hot cakes at the bakery. With Editor in Chief Eileene L. Parsons we could not expect anything less than a truly impressive publication.
Calling this publication a magazine does not do justice to it because apart from being a first class memento it also is a gallery of well-selected pictures including those of all the 59 Miss BVI beauty pageant winners. Most importantly, the magazine includes feature articles that place center stage – where they belong – the history and significance of the BVI Festival. In this vein, mention must be made of the historical profile of “Emancipation Festival” by Hon. Delores Christopher; “Festival Past & Future: Origin & Continuation” by Eileene Parsons and Bernadine Walters Louis; “The Sunday Morning Well” by Varrisse Hodge; the focal and essential “August Festival: The Significance of August 1st” by Angel Smith; “A Summary of Pole Plaiting in the BVI” by Yvonne Mactavious; and “Our Musical Legacy” by Bernadine Walters Louis.
The magazine includes profiles of famous BVI calypsonians and musicians such as Algernon Mathavious ‘The Mighty Mako’; Daniel Mercer ‘Daniel Pops’; Kennie Hodge ‘Kennie’; and Daniel A. Danchie. The inimitable Heritage Dancers are duly credited in a captivating chronology; and traditional festival activities such as “Grease Pole and Pig Activities”; “Torch Light Parade”; and “Festival Sloop Shoot Out” our outlined.
These are followed by a well-knit “Historical Account of Horseracing” by Yvonne Mactavious; fans of horse races will not want to miss this one. Then, equally important is the “East End-Long Look Festival” story masterfully narrated by Quincy Lettsome. The Virgin Gorda Festival history gets due coverage; Eugene and Ronald Donovan highlight the Carrot Bay Festivities; and Elford Parsons places the Brewers Bay Village Festivities in the spotlight. “Festival Cuisine” by Luce Hodge-Smith is a mouth-watering read that brings this tour de force to an end.
Congratulations are due to the editorial board and to all those involved in the design and production of this splendid publication. This is definite “must have” that belongs to your bookshelf.