PRESS RELEASE – The seventh annual Oktoberfest En Kweyol is being hailed as a resounding success. That is the word from the organizers Windward and Leeward Brewery Ltd (WLBL) who staged the event on Sunday October 5 at Samaans Park.
The indicators of the success included the capacity crowd at the venue, the variety of creole food available, the crowd response to the “live” performances and of course the beers. Most patrons too, gave the event the thumbs up. And, although some late-comers did complain about the “running out” of some of the beers, truth is the early birds got their brew. Not only did persons arriving early have their fill of the free brew-masters special-they also tried all of the imported beers and stocked up on enough to take home too.
According to Sales and Marketing Manager at WLBL Thomas Leonce, each year the company attempts to increase stock of the popular beers. “What you find is that some of the more popular beers like the Parbo Djogo from Suriname are always the first to, seeing it is a very big beer quite uncommon in these parts and is great value for money,” Leonce says. And given the fact that this might be the last appearance by the Parbo Bier Djogo at Oktoberfest, made it a much more in-demand product at the event.
Among the other popular beers Sunday, was the Paulaner special edition Oktoberfest beer from Germany, Brand Zwaar Blond and Affligem Blond from Belgium and Guinness Extra Stout imported from Ireland. But it was the two ciders that were particular all around hits. Jillz Cider and the introduction of Strongbow Apple Ciders Honey into the Saint Lucian market was a delectable treat for patrons, particularly the ladies.
Some patrons however stuck to what they knew and the Heineken draft stand flowed all evening. Other WLBL brands such as Piton Beer, the all new Piton Radler, Desperados tequila flavoured beer (the original and Desperados Red) Guinness and Strongbow Gold were also available .
And for those who were able to pull away from the food oasis and bars if only for a moment the entertainment on stage was just as riveting. With MC Jordan as host, DJ HP filled in the gaps between acts and kept the audience on their feet throughout. The Secret Solo band and Avot Servis certainly tried to outdo each other, fusing traditional creole rhythms with more modern up-tempo concepts. These two groups placed the stamp on the Creole authenticity of the event while the Lighting Stars with their dance, limbo and fire-eating act was also quite enthralling.
Cletus “Halibut” Abraham delivered a repertoire of authentic Cadance songs like the popular “Mal Elever” with DYP as the back- up band. And before the band could jam the night away, bringing the event to an enthralling close, Piton Soca Starz performers Mighty and DRC had some fun on stage, engaging the audience in their new-wave Creole music.
Judging by the success of this year’s event, organizers say it is back to the drawing board to make next year’s Oktoberfest en Kweyol even bigger and better. They are also contemplating a larger venue with which to create an even more enjoyable experience for patrons. But for now the word on patrons’ lips is that “Oktoberfest en Kweyol” was a great run-up to Jounen Kweyol here in Saint Lucia.
Oktoberfest en Kweyol is now a staple on the national calendar of activities and is the first official activity for Creole Heritage Month in October, endorsed by the Folk Research Center. The event was also endorsed by the Saint. Lucia Tourist Board and supported by official media partners The Wave-94.5 and Radio Caribbean International-101.1 as well as Landmarks Events, and Paradise Water, the official water of the festival.
WLBL says a big thank you to all their sponsors, patrons, suppliers and friends for making the event what it is and look forward to making it even more special in 2015.