PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands –November 3rd, 2013 –Plans for the 10th Annual Turks & Caicos Conch Festival, are well underway with a weekend-full of activities on the tropical getaway of Providenciales, home to the World’s Best Beach. The popular beachside event attracts tourists and locals alike to celebrate the islands’ most famous delicacy, historical icon, and number one export. The main event will take place on Saturday afternoon, November 30th, in the charming community of Blue Hills, Providenciales, outside of Three Queen’s Bar & Restaurant.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the conch festival and will feature more food, more music, traditional games and fireworks.
Details of this year’s festival are set out below.
A unique addition to this year’s Festival agenda is the National Domino Tournament sponsored by Islandcom Wireless. This year’s ‘Heavy Weight’ Championship Round takes place on Friday evening, November 29th outside Three Queen’s Bar and Restaurant, Providenciales. The winners of the Championship Round will formally receive their award on Saturday, November 30th, during the main Festival event.
The weekend kicks into high gear on Saturday, November 30th at Noon outside Three Queens’ Bar and Restaurant, Blue Hills, Providenciales. The hallmark event is the ‘conch-etition’, which pits the island’s best chefs against each other in a hotly-contested tasting competition judged by a panel of experts as well as Festival attendees. This year’s categories include Best Conch Salad, Best Conch Chowder, Best Specialty Conch and Best in Show. More than 25 restaurants are expected to compete for the cash prizes and bragging rights this year. Tasting begins at Noon (12PM) and runs until 5PM.
In addition to the restaurant competition, again this year a “Home Kitchen” event will take place simultaneously. Home cooks will have a chance to showcase their culinary skills through the presentation of favourite conch recipe and will further earn a chance to win a cash prize and more. A separate vote will be held for this category and the general public will decide which recipe is the Best in Show. An entry fee of $25 gives Festival-goers a chance to sample all the dishes entered into competition and cast a vote for Best in Show.
Augmenting the always-delectable restaurant competition is the annual Bacardi sponsored Mojito-making contest where the island’s best bartenders display their creative twists on this classic Cuban cocktail.
Conch Knocking and Conch Blowing Competitions
Mr. David Bowen, Director of Culture will host special conch competitions such as conch blowing, conch knocking and other conch related activities for the members of the public to ensure that chefs and bartenders are not the only ones with the privilege of showcasing their talent and winning prizes on that day.
Pot of Gold Raffle
The biggest prize of all for this year’s Festival will be the Rotary Club of Providenciales’ Annual Pot-of Gold Raffle cash prize of $10,000 drawn at 5:30pm. Tickets are currently on sale from local Rotarians and at 3 Queens Bar and Restaurant and will be available for last-minute purchase the day of the event. However, buying tickets early is highly encouraged because only a limited number are available.
As always, this years Festival planned with the focus on being a family affair. A special kids’ area will be set up from noon until 4pm with traditional island games (such as tug of war, sack race, egg and spoon race), a bouncy castle, face painting and more. Henry the Conch will also be on hand to pass out goodies to the kids. Additionally, this year’s Festival introduces a Christmas Card Competition, which engages the artistic participation of children ages 6 through 9. Letters have been sent to local primary schools inviting their students to make submissions.
This year’s event features a riveting showcase of the Turks and Caicos’ own world-renowned Mask-a-Noo. Additional entertainment includes performances from Kew Band Links, the Ripsaw Band, Lee & the Force, The Turks & Caicos Brass Band, and the Breezy Beach Dancers. The Wesleyan Methodist Steel Pan Ensemble will kick-off the day at noon.
To burn off the caloric effects of Friday and Saturday, Wrightfully Fit Fitness Center is hosting its annual charity run on Sunday morning, December 1, 2013. Runners of all levels can enter fun runs of either 5K/3.1 miles or 10K – 6.2miles beginning at 6:00AM Both races begin and end at Wrightfully Fit near Turtle Cove and wind through the scenic beachfront of Providenciales. Entry fees are $30 for adults, $15 for children under 18 or $50 per family. Sign up in advance at one of the Wrightfully Fit Fitness Centers (located at the Miramar Resort near Turtle Cove Marina or Salt Mills Plaza) or by calling 941 3311 or 941 3300.
Major sponsors for this year’s festival thus far include Islandcom, Wine Cellar, Villa Del Mar, The Turks and Caicos Weekly News and the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, with more coming on board every week, plus a host of others lending their support. Donations are of course, always welcomed.
The Conch Festival is a family-friendly cultural event with plenty of games and activities for the kids, including kids games on the beach and a showcase of local talent. Equally important is the charitable purpose of the Festival and its organizing committee. In 2008 the Conch Festival donated part if its proceeds to help the fishermen of South Caicos recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, in 2011 over $4300 was donated to Clement Howell High School for much needed equipment and supplies and the Conch Festival also supplied water for their sports day. Last year a donation from the Festival’s proceeds went to Oseta Jolly Primary School in Blue Hills and this year a clean drinking water system will be donated to Oseta Jolly Primary.
Contact Dick Bain, President 242 4553 or Joy MacKenzie, Secretary 241-4465 or email email@example.com
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