12th Annual Fruit Festival kicks off today

The heart of Charlestown will come alive today for the annual Department of Agriculture Fruit Festival. Now in its 12th year, the annual event will be held at the D.R Walwyn Plaza in Charlestown from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
The theme said is one that has been used for all of the Department of Agriculture’s activities for 2017. “The fruit festival will be held under the theme Embracing Climate Smart Agriculture to Achieve Food Security,” said Permanent Secretary of Agriculture Eric Evelyn. “We use the same theme for opening day for all our activities. That is the theme we carry thorough the entire year.”
Evelyn outlined some of the days highlights to the Observer on Wednesday: “The fruit festival will be everything fruit,” he said. “Fruit dishes, fruit drink, fruit wine and our highlight, our cake competition.”
He said that the cake competition will have three categories: cheesecake, light fruit cake and heavy fruit cake. The focus will be on the use of local fruits.
“In addition to the cake competition will also have an ice cream competition,” he said. “Every year for the ice cream competition, we use a different base, but because we have so much mangoes readily available, we decided to use mango this year.”
Evelyn said that because there is an abundance of watermelon on the island, they are also looking to bring back the watermelon eating competition. “We haven’t had it for a long time, so we are looking to bring it back,” he said. “We have an abundance of watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe on the island.”
He noted that though it is a fruit festival, the Abattoir will be in attendance. “Abattoir will also on hand from 6 a.m., so people who will be planning on cooking for the food fair can purchase their meat,” he said.
“Everyone is invited to come to the Department of Agriculture 12th annual Fruit fair. There will be food vendors, competitions and lots to see. Also, we will have music as well as a live band in the afternoon.”