Successful Return Of Camerhogne Folk Festival

PR  – Grenada’s northernmost town was the venue for a cultural explosion with the return of the Camerhogne Folk Festival in Sauteurs, St. Patrick from December 8-10, 2023, after an absence of more than a decade. 

The government of Grenada invested approximately EC$250,000 into the festival, demonstrating its confidence in the role that folklore plays in our culture. The revitalised Camerhogne Folk Festival was spearheaded by the Division of Culture with assistance from a local planning committee. 

Acting Chief Cultural Officer, Adrian Mark is happy with the outcome of the Festival which he said surpassed his expectations, given the high level of performances and the large patron turnout. 

The three day festival showcased the authentic culture of Grenada, locally produced goods, and performances by two legendary calypsonians from Trinidad and Tobago; Pink Panther and Lord Nelson and the L’Acadco United Caribbean Dance Force from Jamaica. 

Ministers of Government and other high level government officials were also present to witness the return of the festival and indulge in the creative talents and cultural traditions of Grenada. 

Minister of State with responsibility for Culture, Hon. Ron Redhead, said this is the return of an economic earner and a cultural extravaganza for the people of St Patrick. Minister Redhead said Government is keen on the concept of community Tourism and keeping

our culture alive, and he also noted the importance of creating an avenue and space for people in the parish to display their talent and earn at the same time. 

M.P. for St Patrick West and Minister for Trade and Export Development, Hon. Joseph Andall is pleased with the rebirth of the Festival. He said it is wise to keep cultures and traditions alive in practical ways that can be handed down to future generations, and he commended the organisers for taking the initiative to restore this important event to showcase what St Patrick and the rest of Grenada have to offer. 

Chairman of the Camerhogne Folk Festival Organising Committee, Robert Whyte commended the government for making a significant financial contribution to the festival, which began on Friday, December 8, with drumming and a flambeau march by the Tivoli Drummers, students, members of the organising committee and others. 

Participants for the first night included local gospel artiste K’Morale and Steel Band music by the Citizen by Investment (CBI) Rainbow City Allstars, Heritage Theatre and the Chantimelle based Privilege Theatre, as well as local reggae band Loyalty. Tributes were paid to Lister Noel from The Privilege Theatre and Theresa Charles, a founding member of the Camerhogne Folk Festival committee who have passed on. 

Day two began with the sale of breakfast at the Nutmeg Pool Yard, which included local delicacies such as tannia log, cocoa tea, and bake and saltfish, followed by the preparation of the Saraca which fed members of the community and festival participants. Traditional mas, Shortnee and Vieux Corps paraded the streets of Sauteurs with their chants and colorful costumes. Traditional games were also on display and children as well as adults enjoyed the train rides in the town of Sauteurs. 

Entrepreneurs and producers of local products displayed their uniquely crafted items on day two and three at the Sauteurs Bus Terminal at the Buy Local Expo, where patrons were given the opportunity to sample some of the products. These included Ignite Flavours Tamarind and Mango sauces, 3T’s pain relieving sprays and rubs, MJ’s Dried Fruit Treats, Creami Delights Ponche de Crème and rum punches and Tingz Local rum punch. The Buy Local Expo was facilitated in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade. 

The second night featured local bands Octane and Fahrenheit and the Back in Times Band, which was the backing band for Laura Lisa who brought some Christmas cheer, and local Artistes like the iconic first female calypso monarch of Grenada Cynthia “Lady Cinty” Ogiste, Junior calypso Monarch Christian “Moti” Niles, reigning Independence Calypso Monarch Nevion Cox, reigning Calypso Monarch, Kelly “Roots Man” Clyne, soca

artistes Luni Spark and Electrify, reigning Groovy Monarch Jalon “Boysie” Olive and the two legends of Calypso from Trinidad and Tobago Pink Panther and Lord Nelson. 

Eric “Pink Panther” Taylor graced the stage, singing one of his satirical calypsos, I Can’t See’ and announced his Grenadian roots being embedded in Sauteurs. His performance included another crowd favourite “Misprint”. Bracing the inclement weather was 93 year old calypso legend from Tobago, Lord Nelson, whose real name is Robert Nelson. He belted out hits like ‘Lala Jam Back,’ ‘King Liar’ and ‘Disco Daddy.’ 

The final night- Folk Night featured choirs from the Hermitage Government School, Grenada SDA Comprhensive School and St Patrick’s Anglican School. There were also performances by the Tivoli Drummers, Simply Unique Dancers, the Carriacou Big Drum Dancers, the Carriacou Parang Train and National Folk Group whose performance was a tribute to Founder and Former Director, Ms. Shirley Robinson. The energetic performances of the L’Acadco Dance Company from Jamaica brought the curtains down on the Festival. 

Founder of the La’Cadco United Caribbean Dance Force from Jamaica Dr. L’Antoinette Stine, commended the Grenadian Drummers who learnt the drum patterns in short time and was able to join them on stage for the duration of their performances. She also boasted about her Grenadian student, Shanica Gibbs, who now lives and works in Jamaica. Gibbs is the founder of the local Dance Workshop “For the Love of Dance”. Dr. Stine expressed gratitude for the invitation to come to the Spice Isle to perform and experience the return of the Camerhogne Folk Festival. 

Old Grenada, New Grenada, One Grenada’ is the theme that has been used for the Camerhogne Folk Festival since its inception. It underscores the past and present, that, when intertwined, become one as the past influences now and the future.