Second Annual Family Fun Fest Held

July 5, 2023 | 0 Comments

The second annual Family Fun Fest, marking the Success of the Theatre Boycott, took place on Saturday [July 1] on the grounds of the City Hall – Freedom Square.

Glenn Fubler said, “The first hour, which focused on fostering families to flourish, began at 4 pm with some youngsters taking advantage of a fun castle donated by a business stakeholder, who like the Progressive Group, opted to remain anonymous. Those parents attending were able to consult at tables available from the Family Centre, MIRRORS, the Department of Education and the Mini BIZ Camp.

“Ayesha Peets-Talbot MD made herself available to share with attendees, the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles. That said, Ayesha – along with her 3 children – was drawn to engage in the ‘Living Art’ project coordinated by the young, local, innovative artist, Jahbari Wilson.

“Larry Ebbin made several boards of chess, checkers and bat gammon, available to all-comers. In addition, noted local Chef – Fred Ming – maintained a stand with free cups of his special recipe of fish chowder and other tid-bits available for attendees.

“While somewhat disappointed with the attendance to the Fest – partly due to so much being on – organizers take full responsibility for our lack of adequate promotion.

“That said, the quality of the offerings at the Fest was fantastic. Ed Christopher- engaged attendees with some ‘ Family Games’ assisted by community activist & trade unionist Linda Bogle-Mienzer. The games included ‘Red-Light’; ‘Egg & Spoon’ plus a ‘3-Legged Race’.

“Outstanding local singer – Sheila Smith – got the entertainment segment off to a great start with her soulful version of We Shall Be Free. Sheila’s wonderful performance prepared those attending for a presentation by In Motion Dancers.

“The dance featured the backing of a mash-up of music – with Cynthia Ervio’s Stand Up as a foundation; including snippets from Human; Glory as well as Freedom. With this rich musical pallet, choreographer Malaysia DeRosa ‘painted’ a wide landscape of a journey of a people overcoming diverse challenges and the 11 young dancers ‘answered’ magnificently.

“It was so moving that all emcee Wendell Dill could say – repeatedly – was “Wow!” Various attendees report being ‘..moved to tears’, ‘..awestruck’ and the like.

“Sheila Smith returned to the stage with something of a blast from the past but updated with relevant lyrics. With her wonderful energy, Sheila demonstrated why she is considered – by many – our premier singer, as she belted out We’re All Family to the funky sounds originated by ‘Sister Sledge’, moving the audience into the spirit.

“During the ‘Open Mic’ period celebrating the lives of the ‘3 Byes from North Village – Ottie, Roose and Johnny’ an overview was provided, highlighting the fact that Ottiwell Simmons, Roosevelt – Pauulu Kamarackafego – Brown and Sir John Swan were all born – 1933 – 1935 – in close proximity, in North Village. The three all attended Central School and Skinner’s/Howard Academy. The three had significant challenges to overcome during their early lives, but all three went on to make iconic contributions to Bermuda.

“Shangri-La Durham-Thompson presented a poem in honour of Sir John. He in turn responded, sharing some details of his links with the other two honourees, as well pointing out that while we all face challenges that we’re all blessed to be standing on the shoulders of so many.

“Gavin Smith – co-founder of Chewstick – offered his reflections on the personal experiences which he was blessed to have with all three of the icons.

“The penultimate performance of the Fest was given by the irrepressible, electrifying ‘Live Wire’ who brings to life the best of reggae in the form of standards, as well as his originals. For the Fest, he debuted an upbeat piece entitled Stand.

“The evening was closed out by that Bermuda tradition, the Gombeys. The Place’s group, featuring Bermuda’s ‘tallest Gombey’, demonstrated diverse abilities in both drumming and dance. They welcomed bystanders-especially youngsters- to ‘take a turn’ and ended with the crowd ‘wanting more’. After that; all that could be said was: Ayo.”

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