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Unique Vincentian Christmas festival launched in style

Unique Vincentian Christmas festival launched in style

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‘It’s Nine Mornings’ was the signature line from head of the National Nine Mornings Committee Michael Peters, which echoed through Heritage Square last Sunday evening at the launch of the unique Vincentian festival.

The launch began with a parade around Kingstown, with participating community groups whimsically attired in Christmas themed suits, dancing through the streets of Kingstown to the music of lively string bands, with some of the more lively groups chanting ‘licks again’. The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Spreading the Love’.

Lennox Bowman, the deputy co-ordinator of the National Nine Mornings Committee, said this year, love will be spread in 44 communities, which would be competing for the awards of Best Nine Mornings Community and Best Lit Community.

Lighting up will begin on Saturday, December 9 at Coulls Hill from 7 p.m. and continue on Wednesday, December 13 at Carriere at 7 p.m and on Thursday, December 14 at Barrouallie at 7:30 p.m; Point Village at 7 p.m. and Stubbs at 6 p.m.

The official start of Nine Mornings throughout the country will begin on December 16 and run until December 24, with Christmas concerts, games, giveaways and praise and worship.

Judging for the Best Lit Community on the Leeward side of the island will be on December 19 and on December 20 for the Windward side of the island.

December 20 is also designated ‘Diaspora Morning’, when homage will be paid to Vincentians in the diaspora who contribute to the festival.

This year’s diaspora morning will be held in memory of Maxwell Haywood, the late president of the SVG/NY Diaspora Committee, who passed away on November 29. Haywood had contributed significantly to the Nine Mornings committee by raising funds and gifts for the festival.

On Saturday, December 23, the winners of the Best Lit Community will be announced.

The launch last Sunday was an example of what to expect during the nine mornings before Christmas, and CEO of the Tourism Authority Glen Beache

asked Vincentians to attend Nine Mornings activities in the rural areas as well, and not just in Kingstown.

The event was well attended, with many families being entertained in dance by Arabesque Dancers, in songs by Stacey Little, The Bowmans, Luta and parang music from Rose Bank, Carriere, Town Hill and other community groups.

During the launch, the Vincentian Association of Artists and Producers awarded Michael Peters the National Poet of the Year award and the Lifetime Achievement Award to the Harmonites String Band.

President of the Association René Baptiste explained that the Harmonites have been playing their entire lives and have played throughout the Carnival and Christmas seasons and on cruiseships and at hotels.

Peters, after receiving his award said, in relation to his book of poems, when you find the Lord, he will inspire you to inspire others. His book, which is based on his spiritual journey, was launched earlier this year.