The smell of spices permeated the air at the opening of the Pure Grenada Nutmeg Spice Festival.
The festival, which was first held in 2012, celebrates Grenada’s nutmeg which is the most desired spice and holds pride of place as the best, Grade A nutmeg and mace, in the world.
Friday 21 November marked the official opening of this year’s festival, which was well attended and included esteemed guests such as Her Excellency, Dame Cécile La Grenade; Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel, Minister for Tourism; Mrs. Merrina Jessamy, Permanent Secretary responsible for Agriculture, Lands and Environment; and a number of key stakeholders and shareholders in the Nutmeg and Tourism Industries.
Addressing the audience at the opening, Merrina Jessamy congratulated the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association for their initiative in undertaking a project of this kind. She said “It is heartening to see Grenada’s two largest economic sectors – Tourism and Agriculture – being linked through this initiative. We need to find unique and creative ways to diversify what Grenada has to offer and grow these sectors. The Pure Grenada Nutmeg Spice Festival does just that.”
One of the highlights of the opening was the surprise attendance of a delegation from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) headed by Dr Lorraine Nicholas Programme Officer for Tourism. Dr Nichols said Grenada was at the forefront of developments in Agro-Tourism and the Pure Grenada Nutmeg Spice Festival was a shining example of the exciting things that were happening on the Island of Spices. She congratulated the Festival organisers and pledged support for future festivals.
Commenting on the festival which is being coordinated by the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA), Pancy Cross, Executive Director commented, “awareness of Grenada’s Nutmeg, its value on the international market, what it contributes and can potentially contribute to the economy is the first step in ensuring that we protect and continue to grow this valuable resource.”
“This is the fundamental reason for having the festival. We want to particularly involve the youth so that they can continue on the tradition of the Nutmeg and see the job/revenue opportunities available to them from nutmeg farming, agro-processing and agro-tourism.”
The festival, which runs from 21 November to 8 December , will feature a host of activities including Spicy Divas in Concert which was held on Saturday; a Nutmeg–Spice Art and Photography exhibition which opened on Monday at the Grenadian by Rex Resort; and Spa & Wellness Day, hosted by True Blue Bay Resort on Thursday, 27 November.
Over this weekend, the Festival schedule will showcase a spice-themed Fish Friday, Sunset City Food Festival and Spice Hash, Spicy Mt. Moritz Breakfast followed by the Spice-it-Up Cooking Competition at Mt. Cinnamon Resort.
Of particular note, and arguably the most popular features of the festival, will be the tree planting days carded for December 3–4, and the Spice Fair and Expo which will be held on 5 December at the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association Building, Kirani James Boulevard.
The GHTA urges all Grenadians to attend the various activities being held under the banner of the festival. More information on the festival and the schedule of events can be found on www.puregrenadanutmeg.com.