As organizers intensify their preparatory work they have also been promising another ‘smasher’ this year when the event comes around in late October.
More importantly however, they have also been giving due recognition to the strategic role played by their major sponsors, including those that have supported the event since its inception.
Coordinator of the festival, Michelle Demming has indicated that the centerpiece of the weeklong festival will again be the “Fiesta”, which is booked for Sunday 26th October. This year she said they are anticipating a much larger crowd attendance that could run as high as 5,000 people. If this is accomplished the event would be rivalling the St. Kitts Music Festival in terms of attendance.
Last year, said Demming, there were over 3,900 patrons, which was a significant climb in figures when compared to the 500 persons who turned out in the first year. This year more effort is being made to promote the festival regionally. Special advertising promotions are planned for the Caribbean Cinemas here in St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Antigua and possibly Puerto Rico. The event is also currently being featured in the inflight magazine of the regional carrier, LIAT.
The Coordinator said the confidence in the expected growth of the event is boosted by the strong and invaluable support from corporate partners like UPS and Hobson Enterprises which this year have increased their sponsorship, moving from a gold to a platinum tier partner.
“Every year as the festival grows we have recognized that it has been partly driven by the increased financial contributions from our partners like UPS/Hobson Enterprises. They have been critical to the growth we have been experiencing and we are very pleased that they have decided to strengthen their support, moving from gold to platinum sponsor. Every year Hobson Enterprises has increased its contribution and we are grateful,” said the coordinator of the festival.
Demming reminded that the Fiesta is only one of the many other activities of what is now the Latin Festival, which this year begins on 20th October and will incorporate events like two movie nights and workshops in dance and Latin Music. Two films are to be screened this year at the Caribbean Cinemas in Buckley’s. One is expected to be a family typed comedy film from the Dominican Republic.
The workshops are designed to highlight the history and development of Latin music and dance- teaching about their origins and techniques. An instructor from Mexico has been recruited to facilitate the sessions.
“Our focus is on the promotion of the heritage and culture of the people of the Latin region and not simply a music festival,” explained Demming.
She said however that they are not currently in a position to release the name of the headline artiste to appear at the fiesta because the final details of the contract and other arrangements are being completed. Other artistes however have already been booked.
This is the fifth year of the festival which began in 2010.