September 15, 2019

Cayman’s Coco Fest

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Cayman Islands was a crowd pleaser

[More than 2k turn out for annual Coco Fest]

Savannah, Grand Cayman, – More than two thousand people wandered their way through the grounds of Pedro St. James at Coco Fest on Saturday, celebrating the resurgence of the Cayman Coconut industry while raising funds for local charity Meals on Wheels (MOW). The event saw an increased number of attendees and ultimately an increased level of support for our national historical site and this year’s chosen charity.

. James was a buzz with more than two dozen vendors showcasing their authentically Cayman-made products, all made with the coconut as the main ingredient. If you were looking for cakes, seafood rundown, Kombucha, gelatin treats, coco-caramel popcorn or household products like a cleaning brush made with coconut husk or beauty products such as a lavender and coconut oil scrub infused with Cayman’s famous white sand; then Coco Fest was the place to be.

Coco Fest hosted close to 2300 people and with $1.00 for each entry going toward MOW, the event is believed to be a success, raising $1,413.00 through paid for admissions. The remaining number of entrants included children under 12, vendors, volunteers, media and sponsor representatives in attendance.

Cayman Photography

“The support was extraordinary this year, I think that we have grown leaps and bounds. From Grace Coconut Water and Pepsi who are always willing to assist the community, Red Cross representatives looking after our patrons and vendors, to additional guards on loan by the Security Centre and support by officers of the RCIPS, we are truly grateful,” said Pedro St. James operations manager, Debbie Bodden.

“I must say a big thank you to , who came on board recognizing this is a community focused event; their participation was invaluable,” added Mrs. Bodden.

“Fidelity is proud to be the sponsors of the 2019 Coco Fest,” said Fidelity Bank’s Senior Business Analyst, Linval Johnson.

“As one of the few remaining indigenous banks in the Cayman Islands, we are happy to embrace the Caymanian culture, and by extension support donations to the Meals on Wheels initiative. We see this as a great opportunity to give back to the wider community which we serve,” he explained.

Visitors to the event were also able to meet with local artists at the Visual Arts Society’s Art Market, complete with an arts and crafts area for on the spot creative activities. Children enjoyed cultural demonstrations on how to make a smoke pot and coconut husk sail boat by members of the Cayman Catboat Club and well-known artisan Carmen Connolly, showed off her skills with coconut frond art and how to scrub a floor with a coconut husk.

This year’s BOB 94.9 FM Coconut Cake Competition was a treat for the audience with radio announcers Doug Dodds and Matty Sloane and Fidelity Bank’s Linval Johnson judging the mouthwatering desserts. First place went to Monique Burton of the World Imperial Beauties with her Coconut Cherry Cheesecake Delight; second place went to Angelique Smith representing the Department of Community Rehabilitation and third place to Carol Braggs of Sweet as Can Be.

New to this year’s event was the partnership between Grace Coconut Water and Cayman Spirits Company (CSC) who created a fundraising cocktail called the “Cocohito”. The drink sold for $5.00 with $2.00 off each sale going directly to MOW.

“We were happy to partner with Pedro St. James and Grace products this year to help for a charitable cause. The proceeds from our specialty drink was a smashing success and we raised $500.00 to donate to Meals on Wheels,” said CSC Events Coordinator, Sarita Singh.

Coco Fest was able to bring together the community for a day of cultural reflection, music, food and drink, art and community fellowship all while raising close to $2,000.00 for a good cause.

“Coco Fest is a fantastic family event that embodies our Caymanian culture and heritage,” expressed Erin Bodden, Meals on Wheels general manager.

“We were grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the event this year where we could engage with attendees and educate them about our complimentary meal delivery service to 230+ seniors across Grand Cayman. Thanks to the generous donation from the entry fees and the signature cocktail, we are another step closer to our 2019 funding requirements,” she said.

Other entertainment on offer included the award-winning film The Bright Spot, produced and narrated by nutritionist Tamer Soliman and directed by local filmmaker Rob Tyler, which was on offer in the Pedro St. James theatre. Live music was provided by Little Magic, Pan n’ Riddim, Miss Issy, Back Beat Band and DJ Flex.

For information on Pedro St. James, location rentals and upcoming events contact Debbie Bodden on 947-3329 or email Mona Meade at marketing@tab.ky or 949-6999.

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Side Bar:

The Cayman Islands Tourism Attraction Board (TAB) is responsible for managing the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park; the National Historic Site, Pedro St. James; the Cayman Craft Market and the Hell Geological Site as well as the Pirates Week National Festival. For information on the TAB or its agencies please email marketing@tab.ky, call 949-6999 or visit the website www.tab.ky and it social media sites.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Main Sponsor – Fidelity Bank Cayman Ltd.
Tourism Attraction Board
Pepsi (CEL Distributors)
BOB 94.9FM
Vigoro Nursery
The Security Centre
Grace Coconut Water (Jacques Scott Distributors)

Photos captions:
Photo 1: Pedro St. James general manager, Debbie Bodden with Meals on Wheels Fundraising Coordinator, Trina Savage.Photo 2: Cayman Spirits Events Coordinator, Sarita Singh and Grace Coconut Water representative Joshua Pawlik donate proceeds from drink sales to Meals on Wheels’ Coordinator, Erikka Moxam.

Photo 3: Cayman Catboat Club members, Locksley Banks and Rupert Ackerman showcase a coconut husk sail boat.

Photo 4. BOB 94.9FM radio announcers Doug Dodds and Matty Sloane flank, Fidelity Bank’s Linval Johnson, Angelique Smith, World Imperial Beauty teen, Azaria Burton, Monique Burton and Carol Braggs. Image Credit – Cayman Photography

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