On Saturday 7TH December, the National Lantern Competition was held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC), where nearly 80 lanterns were judged in various categories, including the two new categories – the People’s Choice Lantern Competition, sponsored by Mayor Peterson Francis and the Dutch Lady Innovative Lantern, sponsored by PCD, distributors for Dutch Lady Milk.
Judges were certainly given a hard task of trying to select winners from each categoryas the creativity that went into this year’s lanterns really upped the ante.
CDF’s Senior Events and Productions Officer, Tyrone Harris, said various workshops hosted by the CDF across the island have resulted in greater participation this year. Standards continue to improve, he added, mainly with the lanterns being able to light, a crucial factor in the judging process.
“We’re particularly impressed also with the concepts of these lanterns and the themes behind them,” Harris said. “We’re seeing that people are not simply building lanterns, but are building lanterns to highlight important messages in our community.”
While participation improved among the juniors this year, Harris said there needs to be more from the seniors, adding that the CDF will work to address this by hosting more intensive training workshops.
Competing schools were Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary, Grande Riviere Secondary, St. Mary’s College, Castries Comprehensive Secondary, St. Joseph’s Convent, and St. Lucia Sports Academy.
On Sunday, December 8, the Festival of Carols served up some soothing musical delights. Held at Our Lady of Fatima Church in La Clery, Castries, the Christmas-themed event attracted a mammoth audience. Presentations came from Saint Joseph the Worker Youth Orchestra, Our Lady of Fatima Choir, Justus, St. Mary’s College Choir, Cathedral Youth Choir, Isman Lovence and Steffi-ann St. Clair, Saint Anne Choir, Evergreen Choir, Supertonic, Holy Family Roman Catholic Parish Choir, and Total Praise Gospel Singers.
The audience got to listen and sing along to favourite Christmas classics such as “Mary Did You Know”, “All I Want For Christmas”, “O, Holy Night”, “Do You Hear What I Hear”, “Someday At Christmas”, “Angels We Have Heard On High”, “Deck The Halls”, as well as traditional Saint Lucian offerings.