Grand Bahama
Festival Noel, 14 Years of Fun!
By Sarah Kirkby
Oct 19, 2008 - 4:37:19 PM

Festival Committee ready for Fun! Preparations are well under way for an exciting Festival Noel 2008. Festival Noel is considered to be "THE" event that kicks of Grand Bahama's Christmas celebrations and serves as the annual fundraiser for the Grand Bahama branch of the Bahamas National Trust. Pictured are some of this years committee, back row: Barb Stollery, GB BNT, Sarah Kirkby, Event Coordinator, Lisa Wildgoose, GB BNT and Jevon Butler of Bristol Wines & Spirits front row Cecilia Bodie, Karin Sanchez of GB BNT and Taylor Ferguson of Cool 96.

The early bird catches the worm and the organizers of Festival Noel 2008 are well on their way to making this year’s event one of the best ever. With 14 year’s of experience under their belt this year’s event, to be held on December 5th, will not only be a great success but most importantly a FUN evening for Grand Bahama.

Festival Noel is considered to be “THE” event that kicks off Grand Bahama’s Christmas celebrations and serves as the annual fundraiser for the Grand Bahama branch of the Bahamas National Trust. Festival Noel combines the largest wine tasting and art show exhibition all in one location, the Rand Nature Centre. The centre is situated in a botanical paradise in Freeport and is one of three National Parks on the island. The event also has a culinary competition called “Chef Noel”, where local restaurants offer samples of their dinner menus and can be voted the top chef in Grand Bahama. All this is paired with an indulgent Silent Auction surrounded by wonderful jazzy sounds and entertainment!

Earlier this week the committee confirmed that their Guest Artist would be Eric Ellis a very prolific, intuitive expressionist painter who is also a policeman in North Andros. “Eric hails from Exuma and has won many awards during his time as an artist,” said Eddie Gardner, Bristol Cellars Marketing Director. “He has exhibited nationwide and we are thrilled to be bringing his work and this new talent to Grand Bahama Island. Fourteen years ago we joined this dynamic event and each year we are thrilled to help exhibit beautiful artwork in the striking gardens of the Rand Nature Centre.”

The committee is now contacting local restaurants to present their cooking talents to win Chef Noel 2008 and local artists to showcase their artwork at the event. “We have already confirmed that three restaurants and one independent caterer will be entering the competition to win the title of Chef Noel,” said Sarah Kirkby, event Organizer, “We are very excited as last year was one of our toughest competitions to date with very close results.”

Festival Noel plans are well under way for their 14th year. The Festival Noel committee is already busy preparing for this years Festival Noel planned for December 5th, 2008. They have just confirmed Guest Artist, Eric Elilis an impressionist from Andros and are busy organizing the Chef Noel competition, the local art exhibitors and arranging a new feature showcasing Bahamian musicians. The event is sponsored by Bristol Wines and Spirits and cosponsored by Freeport Advertising and Printing, Cool 96, John Bull, and Parfum De Paris.

The committee has also sent out letters to all past artists to display their work again but is hopeful that new artists will consider launching their work with them. “We have a very talented group of artists here in Grand Bahama,” said Cecilia Bodie, BNT Administrator and Educational liaison at the Rand Nature Centre, “last year we had the largest amount of exhibiting artists we have ever had, I would love to see that happen again this year.”

As the event nears final details of Festival Noel will be revealed to the media at which point organizers will begin advertising for ticket sales. All profits from the event go towards the local National Trust Branch here and this year will assist with the need to revitalize the waterfall and bird sanctuary at the RNC. Of course all this would not be possible without the many sponsors who make it all happen: Bristol Wines & Sprits, Freeport Advertising and Printing, Cool 96, John Bull, and Parfum De Paris.

“I am thrilled about this years Festival Noel,” said Karin Sanchez Chairman of the GB Regional Branch of the Bahamas National Trust , “last year was my first event in charge and we raised a lot of funds for the Grand Bahama Bridge at the Lucayan National Park and the night was well attended. I have a very eager and active committee supporting me this year so I am expecting Festival to be even better. We look forward to seeing you on December 5th!”

© Copyright 2008 by -