45th Annual McLean's Town Conch Cracking Festival Press Conference
On Wednesday, September 27th, the Mclean's Town Conch Cracking Committee, in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, held a press conference to inform the public of the upcoming 45th Annual McLean's Town Conch Cracking Festival.
The festival, which will be held at the McLean's Town Primary School, from 11:00am to 8:00pm on National Heroes Day (Monday, October 9th), has been a staple event in the McLean's Town community since 1972. The event got its start under the inspiration of English teacher Jeffery Morgan.
Elaine Smith, Coodinator, Product Department, MOTA, said that "As cultural festivals are an integral part of the island’s tourism product, we recognize the importance of these celebrations that tell the story of our past and highlight the rich value of our Bahamian history".
This year’s festival, as in years past, is positioned to attract hundreds to the eastern end of the island where visitors and residents alike will enjoy plaiting the maypole, kayak racing, the unique conch fritter and spoon race, and the famous conch cracking competition.
Smith said that "With Tourism’s role in this festival to assist in the facilitation of cultural exchange between locals and visitors, we anticipate ensuring a wholesome showcase of culture".
Moreover, as cultural activity continues to be the main component of the festival, entertainment will be provided by local Bahamian groups such as The Deep South Island Boys, Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band, and the East End Primary School Ensemble.
Those in attendance can also expect local vendors and fishermen to provide a vast array of conch themed dishes as well as fresh seafood that can be bought on site.
Assistant Chairperson, Conch Cracking Committee, Belinda Russell, said that "The public could look forward to the best Conch Cracking Festival ever over the holiday" and pointed out that "This year's championship will be dubbed as the first national conch cracking championship sponsored by BTC".
Conch crackers from various islands are invited to attend as well as businesses, tourists and junior competitors, as the event will be an open event, with Male and Female categories.
Those who choose to enthusiastically vie for the coveted conch themed trophy stand to be awarded prize money of $700.00, first place winner; $500.00, second place winner, and $300.00 for the third place winner.
For those interested in competing in this year's conch cracking competition, please note that the registration fee has been waived due to the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) contribution as a major sponsor of the event.
The company will also provide free wifi, top up, cellular devices as well as "cash and in kind" in support of the event.
The annual homecoming is slated to serve as a wonderful opportunity for residents and visitors on Grand Bahama Island to experience the numerous authentic Bahamian activities which make the island so unique.
The Ministry of Tourism will provide free transportation for guests staying in hotels in the Freeport area, beginning at1:00pm.
Buses will depart the festival site at 6:00pm .