It was not the usual hot day that occurs during that particularly weekend; but as expected, hundreds of Belizeans from home and abroad turned out on Saturday and Sunday May 15th and 16th for the 18th Annual Crooked Tree Cashew Festival in the Kriol Village, located some 33 miles north-west of Belize City.
KREM Radio, the foundation radio station of the Cashew Fest, was there both days to broadcast highlights of the event, which was officially opened at about 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon. Broadcasters Mr. Frisco and Lady D spoke with several vendors who talked about the various cashew products they had on display and for sale.
One of those persons was Mrs. Verna Samuels, who attends Cashew Fest every year to sell her products ranging from cashew nuts, jam, oatmeal cashew cookies, cashew slush, cake, and stewed cashew. Mrs. Samuels explained that many of the products require time and precision in order to have a tasty end-product.
For lunch, there were lots of great food, including the usual game meats like gibnut, and deer, and of course, Crooked Tree’s famous fried tilapia along with stewed beans and white rice, rice and beans, cole slaw, potato salad and fried plantains. You could have washed it down with water or some delicious juices or sodas.
Music both days was provided by Stone Vibes of Burrell Boom and on Sunday afternoon it was Punta Gorda’s Coolie Rebels Band who entertained the crowd under the tent on the basketball court for more than two hours. For a moment, Ben McKoy, original singer of the Professionals Band, as well as champion body builder for many years, was guest singer with the Coolie Rebels and performed, among many Lord Rhaburn and Mr. Peters originals, his popular hit song “Two Monkey Di Play Pon One Mouth Organ” and a song from an album he plans to release very soon.
Organizers say the Cashew Festival is held each year to give recognition to the Cashew, a unique fruit whose products can be made from both the fruit and the seed.
Story by KREM News Department, Deseree Cain; Photos by Mike Hyde