PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands –October 30, 2014 –Plans for the 11th 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…CONCH. The main event will take place on Saturday afternoon (November 29) in the charming Blue Hills area of Providenciales, outside of Three Queen’s Bar & Restaurant.
Friday, November 28: First Annual Calypso Kick-off event.
This year the weekend kicks off with a Calypso event. (More details will be available soon.)
Saturday, November 29: Eleventh Annual Conch Festival
The weekend kicks into high gear on Saturday, November 29 at Noon in the Blue Hills area. The marquee 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 the Festival attendees. 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 and runs until 5PM. . An entry fee of $25 gives Festival-goers a chance to sample all the dishes entered and cast a vote for Best in Show. In addition to the restaurants, the “Home Kitchen” event will take place simultaneously. Home cooks will have a chance to show off their favourite conch recipe and earn a chance to win a cash prize and more. A separate vote will be held in this category and best in show will again be decided by the general public. Home Kitchen participants will receive each receive $75 to help offset the cost of their ingredients. They are urged to bring a BIG pot of their conch recipe so everyone will get a chance to sample what they have prepared.
Major sponsors for this year’s festival so far are Amanyara, Wine Cellar, Villa Del Mar, the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, Discover Card, Alamo Car Rentals and the TC Weekly News with more coming on board every week, plus a host of others lending their support.
Augmenting the always delectable restaurant competitors is the annual Mojito-making contest sponsored by Bacardi where the island’s best bartenders are on display with their creative twists on this classic Cuban cocktail. This year’s event also features the Turks and Caicos’ own world-renowned Junk-a-Noo, plus other local performers.
Special Conch Competitions for conch blowing and other conch related competitions will assure that chefs and bartenders are not the only ones who can win prizes. Plus the biggest prize of all will be the cash prize of $10,000 drawn at 5:30 on the day of the festival by the Rotary Club of Providenciales as part of its annual Pot-of-Gold raffle. Tickets are currently on sale from local Rotarians and at 3 Queens Bar and Restaurant and will be available on the day of the event. However, buying tickets early is highly encouraged because only a limited number are available.
Henry the Conch and a special appearance by Santa will also be on hand to pass out goodies to the kids. A special kids’ area will be set up with games, face painting and more.
The day’s events will culminate with an after party at Zani Bar featuring DJ music by TCI Most Wanted, DJ Shakes and Unstoppable and DJ Vernam dancing into the wee hours of the night. Admission will be: ladies $10, men $20. This is the ONLY Conch Festival sanctioned after party.
About the Conch Festival
The Conch Festival is a family-friendly event with plenty of games and activities for the kids, including kids games on the beach and a showcase of local culture. There will be games on the beach, and a visit from our mascot, Henry the Conch. In 2008 the Conch Festival donated part if its proceeds to help the fishermen of South Caicos recover after Hurricane Ike, in 2011 over $4300 was donated to Clement Howell High School for much needed equipment and supplies and the Conch Festival also supplies water for their sports day every year. A clean drinking water system for Oseta Jolly Primary School is being undertaken with the proceeds from lasts year.
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands –December 4th, 2013 – This year’s 10th Annual Conch Festival was a tremendous success, attracting hundreds of festivalgoers from a diversified spectrum consisting of the young and old, foreign and native.
As the famous restaurant “Conch-e-tition” got underway, the day began with the Wesleyan Methodist Steel Pan Orchestra bringing the sounds of traditional and contemporary Caribbean music, followed by crowd-pleasing performances from Kew Band Links, the Ripsaw Band, Island Boys and the Breezy Beach Dancers.
Henry the Conch was also on hand to encourage festivalgoers to keep the TCI clean and green, and to give out Christmas goodies to the boys and girls in attendance. The Premier, Honourable Dr. Rufus Ewing brought greetings and announced plans for a more challenging and more exciting conch knocking competition at the 2014 festival. The Premier also had the dubious task of drawing the winning ticket for the Rotary Club of Providenciales’ Annual $10,000 Pot of Gold Raffle.
In addition to attracting a large crowd, this year’s festival also attracted numerous vendors, which notably included the Conch Farm, Turks Head Beer Brewers, the TCSPCA, the Cigar Place, and TCI Tempo. Children in attendance also had the benefit of free activities such as potato sack race, three-legged race, an inflatable bouncy house, tug-of-war and ice-cream!
A unique addition to this year’s Festival agenda was the Inter-island Domino Tournament sponsored by Islandcom Wireless. This year’s ‘Heavy Weight’ Championship Round took place during the festival with a team from Providenciales succeeding as the winner. Throughout the day there were also numerous giveaways sponsored by Islandcom, LIME and Inter Caribbean Airways.
The festivities culminated with fireworks and a junkanoo rush out by We Funk Junkanoo.
Prize winners from this year’s festival are set out below.
Best in Show : Hemingways
First Place – Bay Bistro
Second Place – Opus
Third Place – Parallel 23
First Place – Mr. Grouper
Second Place – Hemingways
Third Place – Danny Buoys
First Place – Bay Bistro
Second Place – Hole in the Wall
Third Place – TCI Community College
The Premier’s Conch Knocking Challenge
First Place – Cunel Charitable – 4 Conchs
Second Place – Preston Penn – 3 Conchs
Third Place – Levardo Tulbot – 2 Conchs
Conch Blowing: Longest single tone
Adult: Levardo Tolbert 26sec
Comaneci Handfield. 11 sec received a $100 gift certificate from Indian Bazaar for female conch blowing
Child: Cameron Halligan 9sec
T’keyah Mcbean 8 sec. received a LIME phone for kid’s conch blowing special prize for female conch blowing.
Christmas Card Competition:
First Place – Nia Ewing, Independent Entrant
Second Place – Dashawn Brooks, Oseta Jolly Primary School
Third Place – Stellon Gardiner, Mills Institute
Cultural Conch Quiz:
$100 mega quiz winner – Gary Fleming
Islandcom Wireless Inter-island Domino Tournament:
Winner – Providenciales
This year’s “Conch-e-tition” was judged by a panel comprising of persons both local and foreign, namely Vivienne Chance, Melanie Reffes, Kathryn Brown and Allen Souder “Guy Fieri look alike”. Profiles of the judges can be viewed on the Festival’s website at www.conchfestival.com.
Major sponsors for this year’s festival included Islandcom, Power 92.5FM/102.5 KISS FM, Wine Cellar, Villa Del Mar, Amanyara, Scotiabank, the Henry Moog Foundation, the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, Provo Water Company, Ocean Club Resorts, Caicos Express, LIME and Carib Gaming with a host of others lending their support to include the Premier, Honourable Dr. Rufus Ewing.
The Conch Festival is a family-friendly cultural event with plenty of games and activities and is furthermore 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.
The Blue Hills Conch Festival Committee expresses its sincerest gratitude to all of its supporters and the public at large who help to make this event a success year after year.
More information on the Conch Festival can be found at www.conchfestival.com.
Follow us at www.twitter.com/TCIConchFest