Stubbs, Richland Park and Carlton “CP” Hall were repeat winners of their respective categories, when the Prize-Giving Ceremony for the 2023 National Nine Mornings Festival took place last Saturday, January 27, 2024, at the Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.
Retaining the accolade of Best Nine Mornings Community was Stubbs, while Richland Park added another year on their hold of being crowned Best Christmas Community.
Considered the two leading communities in the annual celebrations, both were runners up to each other in their categories.
Joining them as repeat winners was Carlton “CP” Hall, who again copped the Best Local Christmas Song title, as he outdid the others in airplay with rotations on the radio stations over the period.
CP’s winning song was “Pan for de Christmas”. Hall, who dedicated the song to his late brother- John Hall, revealed that he will be penning a “pan” song specially for Vincy Mas 2024. He is no stranger to Vincy Mas having been a former Calypso Monarch.
These were the three categories that were announced at the ceremony, adding to the previously declared segments.
Bequia’s ‘Under the Almond Tree’ won the overall VINLEC Community Lighting Competition, doing so for the first time, with Villa Top Gardens staying winners of the Best Lit Garden title.
Cores City Store copped once again the Best Lit Commercial Building award; Best Lit Private House- Jimmy Samuel of Rillan Hill; Best Nativity Scene- Rose Hall; with Uriah Lyttle continuing his reign in the Digicel Bring Yo Song and Come Contest.
Meanwhile, the Best Community on Parade at the launch of the festival on December 3, 2023 was Fitz Hughes and Barrouallie was adjudged to have the Best Community Song.
Addressing the Ceremony, Chairman of the Nine Mornings Committee- Orandi Charles, lauded the efforts of the 54 communities that participated in the festival, noting that the labour of love attitude, continues to thrive despite the many debilitating forces.
Expressing thanks for the efforts of all stake holders, notably the community groups, Charles emphasised: “We can never pay you what you are truly worth, but that is the aspiration. We hope that the powers that be see even more the real value of this tradition to cultural heritage, and ask that we consider putting more financial resources into this festival, Nine Mornings; one of the two largest festivals in the country, with reach in every major community, endearing cultural significance and inherent tourism potential.”
The 2023 Nine Mornings Festival got off to a rainy start, which threatened to douse the highly anticipated event, but the weather cleared after the third morning, thus allowing the rest of the activities to go on uninterrupted.
Charles commended all who braved the inclemency of the weather, noting, “I’d like to publicly thank everyone who have played a role, large or small, in the efforts to keep this festival alive, from Owia and Fitz Hughes in the North, to Union Island in the South, and every major and minor community in between.”
Also addressing the Prize Giving Ceremony were Maxine Browne- Cultural Officer, Anthony Dennie of the National Lotteries Authority and Hon. Carlos James- Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development and Culture.
The 2023 Nine Mornings Festival was held under the theme: “Our Christmas, Our Vibes”.