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A light-time celebration


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Lantern Festival exhibit. * File photo/CDF

(PRESS RELEASE) – December is nearly here, which means the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) and partner agencies are well into preparations for the festivals which form part of the annual end of year celebrations.

The December Festivals are a series of three traditional and historical festivals which bring Saint Lucians together in the spirit of community through the showcasing of artistic creativity, with light at the core; the Lantern Competition, the Festival of Carols and the Festival of Light Ceremony.

The Lantern Competition will be preceded by a series of training workshops in which participants will hone their skills in lantern-making. This year, the skills training sessions will take place at the Mon Repos Primary School, Marchand Combined School, Gros Islet Primary and Secondary Schools, C.A.R.E. Gros Islet, C.A.R.E. Odsan, Anglican Primary and Methodist Primary Schools. The period of training is from Thursday November 1st – Friday November 30th. Registration is now open and interested individuals are urged to indicate their desire to participate by calling the venues closest to them. Further details are available on the Cultural Development Foundation’s website and FaceBook pages.

The workshops culminate with the Lantern Competition scheduled for Saturday December 1st at the National Cultural Centre from 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to come witness creativity at its finest, when juniors and seniors will put their luminous creations up for judging in the traditional, national and contemporary categories.

Participants 17 years and under are adjudged in the junior division while anyone 18 years or older will be considered a senior. Participants are awarded with special consideration given to the skill level employed in the creation and execution of their work. Pre-judging will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on competition day. Interested individuals are invited to register for the Lantern Competition by calling the CDF on 457- 9021 no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday 30th November. Admission is $10 for non-participants.

On Sunday December 9th, chorales, choirs and soloists will congregate at the Church of St. Anne, Mon Repos from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. for the annual Festival of Carols. It promises to be a night showcasing spectacular music.

The Festival of Light Ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, December 12th, at the Derek Walcott Square from 6:00 p.m. Participants in the Lantern Competition will parade the streets of Castries with illuminated lanterns into the Derek Walcott Square where winners will be announced and prizes awarded. The night’s activities will encapsulate Christmas traditions; highlighted and celebrated through a themed production topped off with a projected display of lights and pyrotechnics.


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