August 9, 2022

Coco Fest

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Healthy turn out for Cayman Islands Coco Fest

Savannah, Grand Cayman, February, 2017 – The grounds of the historic Pedro St. James was completely transformed on Saturday 18th February for its second annual Coco Fest. The event was an afternoon devoted to celebrating food, drinks and arts and crafts all connected by one main ingredient—the Cayman coconut.

From coconut candles and fresh coconut water more than 1200 people took to the historic site to see, smell and taste what more than two dozen vendors had on offer. Attendees were greeted with the pleasant smell of fresh fish and fritters frying in locally made coconut oil and patrons also delighted in the taste of traditional foods like conch stew and rice and beans made with coconut milk.

Anyone with an addiction to sugary sweets lost their battle as visitors could meander along the great lawn collecting goodies such as caramel covered popcorn (made with coconut oil), mini coconut custard cups, custard top cornbread, chewy coconut marshmallow and coconut gelatin.

“This is our second Coco Fest event and it was a unique blend of family fun and everything Cayman,” explained Pedro St. James Operational Manager, Deborah Bodden. “We had a nice display of different foods and products again this year [and] many of the vendors surprised us with some new things like coconut toothpaste and coconut husk bird feeders!” she said.

The day’s activities included staff of the National Museum teaching festival goers how to make coconut husk Catboats; thatching artisan, Carmen Connolly demonstrated the art of braiding the coconut tree limb into elegant pieces of wall art and traditional chef, Alvin McLaughlin offered a demonstration in how to make homemade coconut ice cream.

Coco Fest also helped to raise funds for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society (CICS) with part proceeds from admissions going directly to the charity.

“The Cancer Society was so grateful to be selected as the charity to receive $1 from every $5 admission,” said Cancer Society Operations Manager, Jennifer Weber.

Funds received will go towards the organisation’s voucher programme which offers free medical vouchers to people who may not be able to afford a doctors’ visit. The CICS also hosted a photo booth enticing patrons to stop by.

“We used our backdrop banner with all the different cancer awareness ribbon colors on it and took so many pictures of people who were having a great time at Pedro Castle.  With each picture we were able to strike up a conversation with people by encouraging them to ‘protect their coconuts’,” she laughed.

“Ladies were reminded to get their mammograms and men were reminded to get their PSA test. These basic cancer screenings can be life-saving, so we were happy to repeat it over and over,” added Mrs. Weber.

In the coming days, Pedro St James representatives will present a cheque for CI$845 to the Cancer Society; representing the amount of funds raised on behalf of the charity.

Coco Fest 2017 was sponsored by the Tourism Attractions Board, Pepsi, Foster’s Food Fair and Cayman National Bank.

For further information on Coco Fest 2017 or to sign up as a future vendor, call the Pedro St James office on (345) 947-3329 or email [email protected]

Photo captions:

1.Carmen Conolly demonstrates her mastery in plaiting the coconut leaf
2.Cay Corn Popz provides a salty and sweet treat
3.Cayman Spirits Co. prepared special coconut rum infused drinks
4.Dexter Bodden impressed patrons with his country vocals
5.National Museum with their Coconut Catboats
6.Patrons checking out coconut beauty products by Healthy Alternatives
7.Powder Monkey Gourmet Treats in coconut marshmallow heaven
8.PSJ staff member Allen Hurlstone worked tirelessly to cut fresh coconuts
9.Savoury stewed conch by Alvin McLaughlin
10.Scented Coconut Candles by Coux Coux Oil
11.Wreck View Art Gallery had coconuts crafts on display
12.Yolanni’s Place presented their mini coconut custard
13.CICS’s Jennifer Weber with Coco Fest coordinator Shayma Hamdi Romanica

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