It was just about what the organizers had hoped for; a large crowd, great music, food, drink and an atmosphere of festivity.
Some estimates have put this year’s attendance at about 2,500 party goers, more than tripling the 2011 edition that was staged at Spice Mill, located on Cockle Shell Beach. The prevailing thought of many who were in attendance was that with the right vision and marketing, Latin Festival, but especially its main attraction-Latin Fiesta- could eventually mushroom into a major music festival, with the potential to attract thousands of visitors from nearby countries; added to the thousands more from St. Kitts and Nevis who are already gradually warming to the event.
“I am very happy and satisfied. We have worked really hard for the outcome. We were expecting the event to be a great one and we are satisfied that everything went well. Though we had some minor issues…all in all everything went well. I am satisfied with the crowd attendance. Our aim was to increase the number of persons that we had from past events. We had a good mixture of visitors and residents,” said Ms. Michelle Demming, Event Coordinator, for Latin Festival.
Though the whole idea started as a small activity with Cuban and Puerto Rican expatriates living on the island and perhaps longing for more experiences that resonated best with their culture, there is every confidence that the event could one day soon, become a critical marketing tool for local tourism planners on the island.
Not even the heavy rains that came in the closing hours of the festival were powerful enough to douse the enthusiasm and fun of spectators, many of whom continued dancing in the pouring rain as the featured acts of the festival, Ritmo Brazil and Batukealo blasted out Latin flavoured hits, one after the other.
The crowd mixture of Kittitians, Nevisians, Brazilians, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and nationals of the Dominican Republic, all moving to the same beat, enjoying the rhythms and appreciating the lyrics of the hit tunes, was more than enough to satisfy the hopes of the event planners that the festival will help to forge even closer cultural ties and understanding, between the peoples of these nations, living in St. Kitts & Nevis.
This year, organizers incorporated a Latin Movie Presentation that was hosted on Thursday 18th October at Caribbean Cinemas. They also had a repeat of the Latin Flavour Show, held at the St. Kitts Marriott Plaza on Saturday 20th October, featuring Latin Fusion, which in 2010 and 2011, was the featured band for the Sunday concert on the beach. A cocktail, hosted by the ambassador of Brazil on Wednesday 17th October, marked the official start of the 2012 activities.
The event was held under the theme, “Brazillian’s Carnival”