This year’s St Peter’s Parish Church Flower Show And Garden Festival, under the theme Flowers In Praise, Alleluia, was extra special as it commemorated multiple anniversaries.
Rector Reverend Peter Haynes said Friday night’s launch coincided with the 175th anniversary of the present building [the first was destroyed by fire] as well as the 300th anniversary of the appointment of the first rector there.
In addition, he said it was the 100th anniversary of Sixt Car Rentals.
Regine Sixt, patron of the 13-year festival for the third year, officially launched the event with the unveiling of a plaque in honour of her parents and addressed the audience.
“I am thankful to be here and to place this plaque in such a wonderful place. Barbados is the garden of heaven and I spread the word wherever I go. Let the inner beauty of Barbadians shine to the world,” she said.
Haynes also told the SUNDAY SUN what the festival meant to him.
“It’s an alternative type of activity for both locals and visitors to show the creative side of Barbadians. To me, it’s like carnival with the colours and atmosphere of celebration,” he added.
In addition to local arrangers, the festival also features five international guests from Britain. International demonstrator and flower designer Tom Hodge said each of the men had been to the festival separately before but this was the first time they had all come together, adding it was a thrill to work with such exotic plants.
For Carmeta Wiggins, it was her third year participating in the festival. She said she did it for the love of flowers.
“I love the art form and I want to encourage others to get involved because we have such beautiful materials here in Barbados to work with. I find the festival is evolving and improving every year as we are moving from the more traditional designs to more modern arrangements. I will definitely come back next year, God willing,” she said.
Coordinator David Yearwood said there was a need for fresh faces in flower arranging, but the youth were not showing as much interest as he would like.
“This is a lot of work, a lot of planning and money, and I find young people just aren’t interested. It’s an art you have to love [in order to get into],” he said.
Yearwood said he would continue to coordinate the festival as “this is my church, and flowers, my first love”, adding he expected the crowds to grow for the remainder of the five-day festival.
Friday night featured a concert by the Cecilian Singers as well as musical renditions from pannist Adrian Ward, violinist Dwain Gill, pianist Vincent Broomes and organist Julian Bowen.
Yesterday featured the Royal Barbados Police Force Band and entertainer John King among others, while the Erwin Brathwaite ensemble is scheduled to perform today and will include a floral fusion display by the international designers.
The final two days will be for viewing the arrangements only.