Sep 23, 2014
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Posts tagged: Montserrat Festival

Coming Home: 50 Years of Montserrat Festival

Words by Jesse Serwer—

Montserrat Masquerade

This month, thousands of Montserratians living abroad will return home, many for the first time in decades. The number of people on the island during the 50th annual Montserrat Festival, Dec. 14 through Jan. 1, is expected to double, a result of the greatest effort to bring back displaced expatriates since the 1995 eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano spurred more than half of the population to leave.

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Mas Appeal: Reviving Montserrat Festival

Words by Jesse Serwer—

Montserrat-Festival

The Soufriere Hills volcano eruption that devastated Montserrat 17 years ago left its capital city, Plymouth, uninhabitable, and ultimately (along with Hurricane Hugo) contributed to the shrinking in half of the island’s population. Naturally, the aftereffects on Montserrat’s carnival, known locally as Montserrat Festival, have not been positive. But, as the country gets set to celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence at this year’s festival, things are looking up. Led by U.S.-based bandleader Dudley Skerritt, the Waka Waka Mas Band aims to restore the Festival (Dec. 14-Jan. 1) to its pre-eruption glory, with a presentation called “The Treasures of Alliouagana” (Alliouagana is the Carib name for Montserrat, while waka waka means “do it” in Africa’s Fang language).

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