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Nine Mornings kicks off

Nine Mornings kicks off

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With only nine days to go before the 2010 Christmas Nine Mornings activities get started, the official launch of the festivities was held on Sunday, December 5, at Heritage Square under the theme: “Celebrating a Unique Vincentian Tradition”.{{more}}

To kick-start the night’s activities, a peace march was held from Heritage Square along Bay Street, then up Halifax Street to the music of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Band, the SVG Cadet Band, the Rose Bank Boom Drum, X-Pan, Naked Roots and the C.W. Prescod Boom Drum group.

Despite competition from the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) manifesto launch at the Victoria Park, a large crowd gathered to witness the launch of this country’s unique festival, which will begin in earnest on December 16.

Reverend Stephen Ollivierre of the Kingdom Life Tabernacle opened the event with a prayer and a word from God. He was followed by the Exalt Him Worship Team, who lifted up praise unto the Lord with a medley of Christmas songs.

A minute of silence was observed for the late Kenneth Ash – the man who pioneered Christmas lighting in St Vincent. Ash passed away on November 19, 2010 in the United States of America. Shortly after the tribute to Ash, the Square came alive when beautiful Christmas lights were turned on.

Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste was on hand to declare the festival officially open and deliver a few remarks. Baptiste expressed her delight in seeing the festival grow from strength to strength over the past 10 years, despite the many challenges that came.

“It has not been an easy journey. We have had challenging times including when we could not get enough sponsors for the festival,” she said. However, Baptiste reminded the gathering about the true meaning of Christmas. “This festival is not all about money, but it is about the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of the people. …Always remember that Christ is the reason for the season,” she said.

Baptiste appealed to persons for peace on earth and thanked the staff at the Ministry and all the other committees she has worked along with, for their support over the past 10 years.

In a show of gratitude for her work over the years, Baptiste was presented with an award. Tears came to her eyes as MCs, Michael Peters and Jonathan Nicholls sang to her.

Adding some spice to the event, Kyle Henry and Latavia Davy, both of the Lowman’s Leeward Anglican School, showcased their dance skills on the stage, which received a thunderous applause from the crowd.

Other exciting performances came from the C.W. Prescod Dancers, Renaissance Dancers, Destini, Rolly Bowman with his hit, ‘Peaceful Christmas’, Fidel Taylor and the New Generation, the Point Village Massive and Carlton “CP” Hall capped off the night’s entertainment, as many of the children seated stage side, were seen partying the night away.

The launch also saw three of the sponsors delivering brief remarks. Kamara Duncan of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) said, to date, the NLA has injected over $1.5 million into the Nine Morning festivities as they recognise the festival as a manifestation of the people’s love for the Christmas season. In closing, he reaffirmed the NLA’s continued support towards Nine Mornings for years to come.

Tamara Job-Sprott, of the St Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) said VINLEC recognises the importance of development of our culture and pledged their continued support. Job-Sprott however implored persons to practice electrical safety and energy conservation. “Before you go to bed, turn off all your Christmas light and for the villages who have Christmas lights, you can assign someone to take off those lights by 12 midnight,” she urged.

Avanell Dasilva, representative from the SVG Tourism Authority said they are pleased to make a donation of $50,000 each year towards the festival, which goes towards advertising, prizes and other giveaways. (KW)

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