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Festival fever


BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Festival fever

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There was hardly room to walk or drive as thousands descended on Barbados’ smallest city yesterday for the 37th annual LIME Oistins Fish Festival.
The massive crowd was too much for the sidewalk and spilled onto the street, causing traffic – made up mostly of public transport vehicles as most other traffic had been diverted – to weave its way carefully along the road.
While the featured events for the day were the fish boning, dolphin skinning and greasy pole competitions, there were plenty of other attractions to keep the crowd entertained.
There was a haunted house and a train for the children, as well as jumping tents and slides. There were also many vendors selling all sorts of items, from toys and food to plants.
The festivities started with a float parade, which included dancers, a mermaid and a merman courtesy of Betty West’s Underwater Fantasia.
As for the featured events, the greasy pole competition attracted much attention and people took any vantage point they could get to watch the action unfold; one man even went up a nearby almond tree.
People sported cameras, camcorders, mobile devices and tablets and there was even a Japanese film crew from Itte Q TV documenting the event, even taking part at one point.
Two teams took part this year. The initial climb was completed in record time, with Ramone Drayton reaching the goal in 15 seconds. His teammates Corey Drayton, Adeem Millington and O’Neal Pile were exuberant after the climb, saying they made it look like there was no other team competing against them.
In the Flying Fish Scaling And Boning Competition, Jacqueline Norgrove proved her win last year was no fluke, doing it again and outboning Sheron Yarde and 2011 champion Sheena Squires into second and third places, respectively.
It was déjà vu in the CIBC FirstCaribbean Dolphin Skinning Competition, with the same positions earned again – Tyrone “Dolphin” Shorey in first place; Fabian Doughty in second and Damien Warner in third. It was Shorey’s 11th win in that competition.
After all the action, it was time for the entertainment package, with a wide variety of artistes and groups scheduled to keep the crowd jumping. (CA)

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