Grenada: Grenada has celebrated the Camerhogne Folk Festival in Sauters, St Patrick, from December 8 to 10, 2023, after an absence of more than a decade. The festival featured a showcase of the authentic culture of Spice Isle, locally produced goods and performances by calypsonians.
The government of Grenada invested approximately EC$250,000 into the festival, demonstrating its confidence in the importance of folklore as part of our culture.
The revitalised Camerhogne Folk Festival was hosted by the Division of Culture with the assistance of an appointed local planning committee.
Acting Chief Cultural Officer, Adrian Mark expressed pleasure with the outcome of the Festival and said that it has surpassed his expectations with the high level of performances and the large turnout of those who came to experience the event.
The three-day festival entertained the patrons with cultural activities and music by Panther from Trinidad and Tobago and Lord Nelson and the L’Cadco United Caribbean Dance Force from Jamaica. Jamaica.
Ministers of Government and other high-level government officials were also present to witness the return of the festival and indulge in the creative talents and cultural traditions of Grenada.
Minister of State with responsibility for Culture, Ron Redhead said that this is the return of an economic earner and a cultural extravaganza for the people of St Patrick. Minister Redhead said,”The Government is keen on the concept of community Tourism and keeping our culture alive.”
He also noted the importance of creating an avenue and space for people in the parish to display their talent and earn at the same time.
M.P. for St Patrick West and Minister for Trade and Export Development, Joseph Andall is pleased with the rebirth of the Festival. He said it is wise to keep cultures and traditions alive in practical ways that can be handed down to future generations.
He further commended the organisers of the festival for taking the initiative to restore this important event to showcase what St Patrick and the rest of Grenada has to offer.
Chairman of the Camerhogne Folk Festival Organising Committee, Robert Whyte commended the government for making a significant financial contribution to the festival, which began on Friday, December 9, with drumming and a flambeau march by the Tivoli Drummers, students, members of the organising committee and participants.
On the first night, the performers included local gospeal artistes enhanced the holiday experience of the tourists. The music was given by K’Morale and Steel Band Rainbow City Allstars, Heritage Theatre and the Chantimelle-based Privilege Theatre, and local reggae band Loyalty.
Tributes were also paid to Lister Noel from The Privilege Theatre and Theresa Charles, a founding member of the Camerhogne Folk Festival committee who has passed on.
Night two began with the sale of breakfast at the Nutmeg Pool Yard. Local delicacies such as tannia log, cocoa tea, fried coo-coo, and baked and saltfish were followed by the preparation of the Saraca, which fed members of the community and participants of the festival.
Traditional mas, Shortnee and Vieux Corps, paraded the streets of Sauteurs with their chants and colourful costumes. Traditional games were also on display and children as well as adults enjoyed the train rides in the town of Sauteurs.
Entrepreneurs and producers of local products displayed their uniquely crafted items on day two and three at the Sauteurs Bus Terminal at the Buy Local Expo, where patrons were given the opportunity to sample some of the products.
These included Ignite Flavours Tamarind and Mango sauces, 3T’s pain relieving sprays and rubs, MJ’s Dried Fruit Treats, Creami Delights Ponche de Crème and rum punches and Tingz Local rum punch. The Buy Local Expo was facilitated in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade.
On night two, the local bands Octane and Fahrenheit and the Back In Times Band have performed. The local Artistes like the iconic first female calypso monarch of Grenada Cynthia “Lady Cinty” Ogiste, Junior calypso Monarch Christian “Moti” Niles, reigning Independence Calypso Monarch Nevion Cox, reigning Calypso Monarch, Kelly “Roots Man” Clyne, soca artistes Luni Spark and Electrify, reigning Groovy Monarch Jalon “Boysie” Olive and the two legends of Calypso from Trinidad and Tobago Pink Panther and Lord Nelson were the lineup for the second night of the festival.
Eric “Pink Panther” Taylor graced the stage, singing one of his satirical calypsos, I Can’t See’ and announced his Grenadian roots being embedded in Sauteurs. His performance included another crowd favourite “Misprint”. Bracing the inclement weather was 93 year old calypso legend from Tobago, Lord Nelson, whose real name is Robert Nelson. He belted out hits like ‘Lala Jam Back,’ ‘King Liar’ and ‘Disco Daddy.’
The final night- Folk Night featured school choirs from the Hermitage Government School, Grenada SDA Comprhensive School and St Patrick’s Anglican School. There were also performances by the Tivoli Drummers, Simply Unique Dancers, and the Carriacou Big Drum Dancers.
The Carriacou Parang Train and National Folk Group also paid tribute to Founder and Former Director, Ms. Shirley Robinson with their performance
The energetic performances of the La’ Cadco Dance Company from Jamaica brought the curtains down on the Festival. Founder of the La’Cadco United Caribbean Dance Force from Jamaica Dr. L’Antoinette Stine, commended the Grenadian Drummers who learnt the drum patterns in short time and was able to join them on stage for the duration of their performances.
She also boasted about her Grenadian student, Shanica Gibbs, who now lives and works in Jamaica. Gibbs is also the founder of the local Dance Workshop “For the Love of Dance”. Dr. Stine expressed gratitude for the invitation to come to the Spice Isle to perform and experience the return of the Camerhogne Folk Festival.
‘Old Grenada, New Grenada, One Grenada’ is the theme that has been used for the Camerhogne Folk Festival since its inception. It underscores the past and present, which, when intertwined, become one as the past influences now and the future.