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Accommodation for overseas participants in the seventh Caribbean Festival of Arts and Culture (CARIFESTA VII) to be hosted by St Kitts and Nevis will be available on time says the island’s Minister responsible for CARIFESTA, the Hon Jacinth Henry-Martin.

During a tour of the housing site with the Minister responsible for housing, the Hon Cedric Liburd, Minister Jacinth Henry-Martin said she was very pleased with the pace of work on the houses, and indicated she was confident of an on time completion.

Minister Martin is of the view that the CARIFESTA Village would provide an important environment complimentary to the on-stage performances, and one which will facilitate interaction among performers.

The multi-million-dollar CARIFESTA Village is to receive special funding says Minister Cedric Liburd. He disclosed that government is in negotiations with a Trinidad and Tobago bank to facilitate completion of the project.

When the village is completed, it is expected that 750 overseas participants will be housed over the 10 days of CARIFESTA in the 160 houses being built. Government has contracted several builders to undertake the project which commenced in April.

Minister Liburd expressed appreciation to the business houses that provided a three-month credit assistance package, and to the National Housing Corporation for their management of the project.

Meanwhile, more than 25 countries have so far confirmed participation in the event with Bermuda and Taiwan, Republic of China being recent additions.

One of the most Northerly Islands in the Atlantic, Bermuda’s 170 strong contingent will arrive in the twin island nation on 15th August. They will make contributions in the Cultural Performances, Culinary Arts, and Photography.

From Taiwan, Republic of China, an aboriginal Dance Group of 21 is scheduled to visit from 21st to 23rd August.

The principal activities for CARIFESTA VII include the Grand Opening Gala at Historic Warner Park on Thursday 17th August at 18:00 hours. At this ceremony 165 primary school students will depict in wavelike movement of the Caribbean Sea – the medium of migration of those who peopled the Caribbean, and which connects us to each other. A flag raising ceremony will precede the opening.

On 18th August, Port Zante will become a picturesque blend of music, fashion, food, rhythms, art and craft when the Grand Market opens at 10:00 hours.

Later that evening, it’s the first of three Super Concerts with internationally acclaimed Caribbean artistes performing centre stage at Bird Rock Recreational Grounds at 19:00 hrs. The impressive lineup in calypso, soca, zouk, reggae and other musical forms will feature such acts as Andy Palaccio, and Punta Rebels of Belize, the legendary Sparrow, David Rudder, and the Mighty Shadow of Trinidad and Tobago, Jimmy Cliff, Beenie Man, Bunny Wailer, and Sanchez of Jamaica, KrosFyah of Barbados, N.G. La Banda of Cuba, with Bro Emmanuel from neighboring Antigua and Barbuda.

Focusing attention on the integral role of the indigenous people to the development of the culture of the region, will be a group of 16 Caribs from the ‘Nature Island’ of Dominica. This activity will reflect on the traditions that have formed us, as we pay tribute to the architects who laid the foundation for us as a people.

CARIFESTA VII is expected to be an enriching and unforgettable 10-day experience in St Kitts and Nevis from Thursday 17th to Sunday 26th August, 2000.

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