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Montserrat gets ready to showcase Irish roots during St. Patrick’s Week

Montserrat is jumping out with promoting the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in March this year. Montserrat — Known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, Montserrat has the distinction of being the only nation outside of Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day as a national holiday.

The showcases the unique mix of Irish and African heritage, the territory comes alive with week-long events that will take place from March 11 – 19, 2011, at various locations throughout the island.

Residents and visitors alike have the chance to participate in feasts, parades, concerts, cultural exhibitions and outdoor theater productions to commemorate the slave uprising that occurred on the island during St Patrick’s Day in 1768.

Firm highlights will include national exhibitions as they showcase history, art and literature: the Freedom Hike of the Duberry-Cassava Trail, the Kite Festival, University of the West Indies’ Lecture with Dr. Samuel Joseph, who will speak on “Education: The Key to Unshackle us from the Bonds of Economic Slavery”, the All-Island Heritage Feast which will feature traditional food and drinks; and performances throughout the week from the Irish group the Martin Healy Band, Emerald Community Singers, and masqueraders. The highly anticipated Junior Calypso Final and a beach jam closes out the packed week.

A “Lively and entertaining cultural celebration” is how Minister of Education and Chairman of the St. Patrick’s Week Committee, the Hon. Colin Riley described this year’s event.

The Minister also expressed pleasure that for the second year they will be able to host a visiting Indian Dance troupe for the Cultural Dance Exchange on Wednesday, March 16 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

In addition, a simulated slave village is ‘usually’ constructed in Little Bay (no more festival village, so venue to be named) that features individually decorated slave huts and a slave feast that offers samples of traditional foods such as goat water, stewed yard fowl and bush tea.

Local bars and restaurants also celebrate in the more traditional Irish way by serving Guinness and decorating with shamrocks and plenty of green.

Of all the Caribbean islands, Montserrat is the only one to boast a noticeable Irish heritage. The island was the home for indentured Irish Catholic servants in the British West Indies and the influence of their culture is still felt today. The celebration usually begins with a church service at the Roman Catholic parish Church, known as St. Patrick’s church.

The harp and female figure on the flag and official seal of Montserrat are derived from Irish heraldy. There is even a village named St Patrick’s (located in the exclusion zone). Visitors also receive a green shamrock stamp in their passport upon arrival.

Goat water, the national dish made of kid or mutton and spiced with cloves and rum, hails from the original Emerald Isle. The Irish legacy is present in the folklore, surnames and even the local speech, which is said to be laced with Irish brogue.

Additional ferry services and flights on Fly Montserrat will be added based on demand.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Montserrat is jumping out with promoting the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in March this year. Montserrat — Known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, Montserrat has the distinction of being the only nation outside of Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day as a national holiday.

The showcases the unique mix of Irish and African heritage, the territory comes alive with week-long events that will take place from March 11 – 19, 2011, at various locations throughout the island.

Residents and visitors alike have the chance to participate in feasts, parades, concerts, cultural exhibitions and outdoor theater productions to commemorate the slave uprising that occurred on the island during St Patrick’s Day in 1768.

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Firm highlights will include national exhibitions as they showcase history, art and literature: the Freedom Hike of the Duberry-Cassava Trail, the Kite Festival, University of the West Indies’ Lecture with Dr. Samuel Joseph, who will speak on “Education: The Key to Unshackle us from the Bonds of Economic Slavery”, the All-Island Heritage Feast which will feature traditional food and drinks; and performances throughout the week from the Irish group the Martin Healy Band, Emerald Community Singers, and masqueraders. The highly anticipated Junior Calypso Final and a beach jam closes out the packed week.

A “Lively and entertaining cultural celebration” is how Minister of Education and Chairman of the St. Patrick’s Week Committee, the Hon. Colin Riley described this year’s event.

The Minister also expressed pleasure that for the second year they will be able to host a visiting Indian Dance troupe for the Cultural Dance Exchange on Wednesday, March 16 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

In addition, a simulated slave village is ‘usually’ constructed in Little Bay (no more festival village, so venue to be named) that features individually decorated slave huts and a slave feast that offers samples of traditional foods such as goat water, stewed yard fowl and bush tea.

Local bars and restaurants also celebrate in the more traditional Irish way by serving Guinness and decorating with shamrocks and plenty of green.

Of all the Caribbean islands, Montserrat is the only one to boast a noticeable Irish heritage. The island was the home for indentured Irish Catholic servants in the British West Indies and the influence of their culture is still felt today. The celebration usually begins with a church service at the Roman Catholic parish Church, known as St. Patrick’s church.

The harp and female figure on the flag and official seal of Montserrat are derived from Irish heraldy. There is even a village named St Patrick’s (located in the exclusion zone). Visitors also receive a green shamrock stamp in their passport upon arrival.

Goat water, the national dish made of kid or mutton and spiced with cloves and rum, hails from the original Emerald Isle. The Irish legacy is present in the folklore, surnames and even the local speech, which is said to be laced with Irish brogue.

Additional ferry services and flights on Fly Montserrat will be added based on demand.