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Decline in visitors to Union Island for Easter attributed to lack of transportation

Decline in visitors to Union Island for Easter attributed to lack of transportation


Chairman of the Union Island Easterval Committee Abdon Whyte says the relatively low turnout of persons attending the Easterval festivities could be attributed to the limited ferry services to Union Island over the Easter weekend.{{more}}

“I will attribute the crowd turnout to lack of the transportation for persons getting from mainland to Union Island. There was one boat basically running, but I am still satisfied with the festival,” Whyte told SEARCHLIGHT.

With a packed calendar of activities, which ran from April 11 and culminated on April 21, Whyte said the ferry Gemstar was the only service in operation.

The Barracuda and the fast ferry Jaden Sun, the other ferries that normally travel to Union Island, are out of service.

Persons travelling on Gemstar paid $60 to get from Kingstown to Union Island, a journey which took just over five hours.

Despite the setbacks, the throngs who piled on to the ferry for the journey disembarked in Mulzac Square to amplified music and an array of local craft and food on display, on festival day.

The activities of the festival included: a Lion Fish Derby, Comedy Extravaganza, church service at the St Mathias Anglican Church, family day at the Richmond beach, Inter-Primary Schools sports, full moon party, fish fest, fire fete, Cultural Extravaganza, foam fete, Sport night, All white party (Glow), festival day and kids fair, soca fest, Miss Easterval pageant, J’Ouvert and culminated with Monday night mas.

Persons lined the street to witness persons taking part in the egg and spoon race, the male and female beer drinking competition and the parade of the seven contestants who took part in the Miss Easterval pageant.

In the beer drinking competition, the men competed to see who would be first to finish drinking two bottles of Hairoun beer.

While others drank a bottle at a time, one man placed two bottles to his mouth and gulped his way to winning the event.

The day also saw the seven contestants march around the square with little children, who sported bunny outfits and carried baskets of Easter eggs, which attracted the attention of a growing crowd.

A foreigner, who was visiting Union Island for the first time, told SEARCHLIGHT that he was happy to be in the island when such festivity was taking place.

The weekend only got better with the highly anticipated soca fest, which saw a number of local and regional artistes gracing the stage at the Ashton hard court.

Despite a late start, persons came out in their numbers, dressed to party to the music of Royall, Wizskid, Syxx and Madskull.

The band WCK out of Dominica, who were the main act of the show, delivered a somewhat sub-par performance, despite the hype surrounding the group, which has three singers.

When Grenadian artiste Lavaman took the stage, the crowd went into a frenzy. With his usual high energy performance, Lavaman had the crowd gyrating throughout the wee hours of the morning with his performance.

However, the man of the night was Lavaman’s fellow countryman, Skinny Banton. As soon as the instrumentals for Banton’s song “Soak it good” began, patrons were seen running from the stand towards the front of the stage.

The lanky lad delivered a performance which had the crowd asking for more.

In the Guinness Street Football competition, Cotton United came out victorious, after beating Pain Killers one goal to nil, in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out, at the Ashton hard court.

In the basketball finals, Union Island All-stars topped Foreign Base to win the title, which they have done in the past several years.

Whyte said despite the challenges faced, they were still able to put together a great package and further added that more needs to be done on a national level to help the festival to grow.