Union Island to Host Conch Festival

  • by

The first ever “Union Island Conch Festival” will be hosted by the Union Island Tourist Board and is scheduled for Friday February 28th to Sunday March 1st 2020 on Union Island.

The Conch Festival is a celebration of the Conch industry on Union Island which has played a vital role in the economy of the Island and St Vincent and the Grenadines as a whole over the past years. Today, even more than ever, persons on Union Island are earning a good living from Conch and some local restaurants have made it part of the island’s cuisine.

Persons have used Conch shells in very creative ways over the years, by blowing the shell it is used to alert residents whenever there is fresh fish and other meats available for sale. A resident of Union Island, Janti Ramage built an entire island from discarded Conch Shells which is now the world famous Happy Island attracting numerous visitors.

The Union Island Conch Festival would see restaurants and cooks serving up a variety of sumptuous Conch dishes in every imaginable form such as Conch Water, Stew, Salads, Fritters, Curry, Pelau, Grilled, Grilled, Chowder, Pasta etc.

Local Chefs would also compete in several Conch dish categories, cash prizes and trophies will be awarded for the best conch dishes in these categories.

The Festival would also feature Art and Craft, Cultural Performances and several other competitions such as conch chopping and conch shell blowing and other activities for patrons to be engaged in.

There would also be educational booths to bring awareness on the Conch and the Conch Industry and its sustainability, persons will be educated on the legal size for harvesting conch and the role it plays in our ecosystem. Other seafood such as Lobster and Fish will also be on sale at the festival.

The Union Island Tourism Board saw it fit to introduce this event primarily for persons to appreciate the Conch industry and the role it plays in tourism through our local cuisine, and events. Hopefully we would be able encourage restaurants and cooks to expand their menu of Conch related dishes into new creative ways.

The event will create an economic stimulus for the island as we continue to expand the list of activities on the Island for both residents and tourists and will be an ideal way for visitors to get a sense of our history, culture and diverse tourism offering.

The Conch Festival is part of the larger plan by the Tourist Board to promote Union Island more than ever before, as a destination where you can choose to come for unique events or simply relax on the white sand beaches and engage in several activities for the weekend.

The festival is a build up towards the Union Island Easterval week of events which runs from April 5th to 13th and on May 15th , persons are invited to experience a Unique Culture, the Island Maroon with Big Drum Dancing, Traditional Food and much more.

It is envisioned that the festival could eventually become an international culinary attraction for St Vincent and the Grenadines and contribute to Culinary Tourism which is a major focal point for Community Based Tourism as we try to grow both international and domestic tourism numbers.

We are inviting cooperate partners to come onboard to take advantage of the numerous advertising and branding opportunities available at the Conch Festival 2020.

SCHEDULE

  • FRIDAY 28th February

Restaurants throughout Union Island will feature Conch on their Menu

Street Lime at the “Lime and Sip Bar” with Conch in the Street

  • SATURDAY 29th February – Conch Festival at the Fisheries Complex

The action will begin at 12 noon at the Fisheries Complex, Clifton with a variety of conch dishes on sale from several restaurants and cooks. Other Seafood will also be available.

Several Competitions will be hosted:

Swimming Competition
Stand Up Paddle Competition
Conch Chopping Competition
Conch Shell Blowing Competition
Conch and Dumpling Eating Competition
Beer Drinking Competition

Cooks will also compete in several culinary competitions:
Specialty Conch Competition
Conch Salad Competition
Conch Water Competition
Best overall Conch Dish

  • SUNDAY 1st March – Conch on the Beach

On Sunday 1st March the event goes to the Sparrows Beach Club for an evening of “Conch on the Beach” event, with Conch Dishes on Sale and Local Entertainment by Luta the Crowd Motivator, Bert One man Band and Mark Simmons on Pan and several Local DJs.