St. Patrick’s Week of Activities March 10th – 19th, 2012, as reported by travelvideo.tv.
Known as ‘The Emerald Isle’, Montserrat is the only country outside Ireland where St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday. The week-long St Patrick’s Festival provides a rich mix of Irish and African heritage, with some traditional Caribbean entertainment, making this one of Montserrat’s most popular annual events.
This year St. Patrick’s Week will be celebrated from March 9th to 19th 2012 and will be held in the village of Salem. The activities for the week will centre around the Freedom Run from Cudjoe Head to Salem Park, a nature hike and a junior calypso competition. St Patrick’s Day itself (17th March) will be the main highlight with its very unique reconstructed Slave Village.
Here, stalls will sell traditional foods, locals will gather to play traditional games such as dominoes and marbles, and masquerade dancers will put on colourful displays. Two new features will be added to this year’s week of activities. These include a Montserrat Day where local artisans will showcase their products all of which are locally made. Items will include art and craft items, foods, among other things and a Lunchtime Party and Goat Water Competition not to be missed.
Montserrat’s Irish heritage dates back to the 17th century when the island became a haven for Irish Catholics who were persecuted on other Caribbean islands. This history is still evident today from the moment visitors arrive at the airport in Montserrat and receive a shamrock-shaped stamp in their passports. During St Patrick’s Day, visitors will notice many locals wearing national dress – in which green is the dominant colour – and both Guinness and ‘Green’ Heineken are available in bars aside the traditional rum punch cocktails.