by Kevon Browne
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The 9th hosting of the Nevis Mango Festival is set to kick off and, according to Nevis Tourism Authority CEO Devon Liburd, is a precursor to the ten hosting of the Festival in 2024.
Juliet Bodley, the Jamaican actor, comedian, and social media personality better known as JulieMango, is the guest host for this year’s Mango Festival.
Some of the events throughout the weekend include the opening day of Mango lime at the Indian Castle Fruit Orchard on June 30, a dinner at the Mt Nevis Hotel for the Supper Club event on July 1, the ‘For Love of Mangoes Day’ at The Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park on July 2 and more.
“Another feature that we are adding to this event this year is the Mango Stoning Competition. Those of us who grew up outside on Nevis, how we went about getting our mangoes, it’s [going to] be in a controlled environment. We’re limiting the possibility of anyone being injured by this. We want to test the ability of persons like Mr Brantley and anyone else to see how well they can actually stone mango… Mango Festival Bar Crawl, and this is going to be centred on Pinney’s Beach. We have invited the bars on Pinney’s Beach to create a mango cocktail. And we will be inviting all of our patrons to go – move from bar to bar on Pinney’s Beach and sample the creativity of each of these cocktail[s].”
The weekend’s climax, ‘For Love of Mangoes Day,’ will feature 32 local chefs and restaurants participating in the event to present various dishes and mangoes to the general public.
Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley, during the June 2 press conference, expressed the festival’s aim, especially during the summer months, when tourist traffic traditionally slows on the island.
“The concept of the mango festival was created to try to attract attention for the jurisdiction during that downtime during the season – what we would ordinarily refer to as the offseason. This year has been unusual because we haven’t seen much of an offseason this year. The hotels are all still reporting robust bookings, but we decided that we would stage this festival, and each year the festival gathers momentum. It has been going from strength to strength. It is clearly gaining a reputation and gaining traction in the region as an incredible food festival. And, of course, based around what we say is the sweetest fruit. And so the idea really is for us to create a space where we can promote what is natural to Nevis, our mangoes, but also to show the versatility of this fruit in terms of cooking, but to build an entire ecosystem, if you will, around it and to encourage people; most importantly, to come to the island and to visit the island and to stay with us and to experience what we have to offer.”
Shantel Miller, Project Consultant for the 2023 Nevis Mango Festival, expressed gratitude to the sponsors of the festival, which include:
Bank of Nevis International (BONI)
RAMs Trading Limited
Bank of Nevis Limited
Horsford’s Group of Companies
St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited
Carib Brewery Limited
Department of Agriculture (Nevis) – collaborators for day one of the festival
James Simpson, CEO of BONI, attended the press conference to present the company’s sponsorship of the Nevis Mango Festival.
“We at BONI take the opportunity also to try and do the best we can in supporting the Nevis Mango Festival this year. So on behalf of BONI, I take the opportunity to thank you all very much for inviting us.”
A representative from RAMs said the company was happy to sponsor the festival for the 9th interaction and expressed hope for supporting the 10th hosting in 2024.
“We are sponsoring the final event… all the chefs will get their ingredients from RAMs, and the general public will enjoy them. So once again, thank you for having us.”
Outside of influencer “Julie Mango”, the NTA has enlisted the help of two local influencers, Desyl Hamilton and Winnielle Pereira, to promote the Nevis Mango Festival.
The 9th Nevis Mango Festival will run from June 30 through July 2, 2023.