On Sunday, December 29, heritage and nature lovers flocked to the Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat at Bangor Ridge in Portland for Sun Venture Tour’s annual year-end heritage fest, situated in the cradle of the Blue Mountains with the Grand Ridge as a spectacular backdrop.
This year it was christened Hi-Fashion, and apart from the offerings that would be expected from an event so named, the patrons that made the hike from the community square to the wilderness retreat were treated to a variety of cultural and heritage presentations. These included intellectual reasonings from Arthur Newland on the Jamaican 18th century slave Boukman Dutty who played a pivotal role in the initiation of the Haitian Revolution, poetry from Lenworth Burke, mesmerising singing from both Sharon Tucker and (Ms) Toni Blair. The latter wowed the crowd with her powerful and original song that spoke out against sexual abuse. Highlights of the day were a presentation of Jamaican dance from George Howard who explored, dissected and enthusiastically displayed the evolution of Jamaican dance from traditional Dinki Mini and Bruckins, through Ska to modern day dancehall moves. This was highly received by the appreciative audience. To top it off was the fashion show that showcased outfits from Shades of Africa and Ites International. Managing Director of Sun Venture Tours, Robert Kerr emphasised the importance of forming a partnership with the community of Bangor Ridge in order to make heritage tourism a success. Here are some images from the event.