Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine July 2016 - Page 136

Calendar of Events JULY JULY and AUGUST Calabash Festival (July) - Named after the calabash fruit that was traditionally used to produce eating utensils, musical instruments and decorative items, the festival seeks to promote the destination’s local craft industry to the rest of the world. With an emphasis on culture, organizers are anticipating strong support for the week-long event that will be brimming with entertainment and educational activities for both visitors and locals. Cudjoe Head’s Festival Montserrat comes alive with traditional fanfare during the annual celebration of Cudjoe Head Festival. Held from July 29-31, 2011, the festival invites residents and visitors to join in the events that celebrate the island’s strong African heritage. The festival that began in 1989 is designed to encourage the reunion of the people of Cudjoe Head and share the island’s diverse culture with others. The village of Cudjoe Head was named after the 18th century slave Cudjoe, who ran away from his master. He was caught and lynched at Cudjoe Head corner and his head was placed on a silk cotton tree to remind anyone considering running away what the punishment would be if they were caught. The fruit of the calabash tree after being cut open and scooped out, can be used as a dish, a storage container, a lantern, musical instrument, fashion jewellery or handbags. The calabash has for centuries been an indispensable multi-purpose item in the homes of Montserratians and as a result has been designated a cultural item. Sponsored by the Office of the Chief Minister, the Community Services Department, the Montserrat Tourist Board and the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Culture, Tourism and Sports, the Festival has grown to include an annual road race and walk, masquerades, local performances, music from steel and live bands, and an exhibition of goods. Calabash Festival & Cudjoe’s Head Festival Additionally, the night before the festival, Cudjoe Head Eve, is now a time known for revelry and fun with a street festival that includes live music and food vendors. 132