Ambergris Caye was the choice destination for thousands of visitors from across the country as well as abroad for the Easter Weekend. Visitors started flocking to the island as early as Wednesday, April 20th.
Bars, hotels, restaurants and the various businesses on the island were at a gain over the weekend. Water taxis reported making extra runs to keep up with the amount of visitors.
With so many visitors on the island, there was certainly not a shortage of activities to keep everyone well occupied. Starting on Friday afternoon, the Easter weekend kicked off with the yearly Good Friday Holy Procession, which started at about 5:30pm. Dubbed the most religious day observed in San Pedro, the Holy Procession on this day has been and still is the largest annual procession held in San Pedro.
The entire congregation is divided into groups led first by children and followed by teenage girls, women and lastly, the men. The young ladies take turns carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary while the men carry a casket (symbolizing the death of Christ) as hymns and prayers are chanted throughout the main streets of town.
Following a very religious procession, party goers on the island were treated to the beginning of Island Invasion Easter Edition. The two night event saw the participation of local artists, DJs and international artist out of Jamaica, Darrio. Fido's was the venue for this well attended concert event which saw the attendance of hundreds of party goers each night.
Saturday night found many revelers back at Fido's for another night of modern music. Further north at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium, the San Pedro HIV/AIDS commission presented "El Show de Las Estrellas del Momento". This entertaining concert commenced at 9:00pm and went through the night. Attendees enjoyed various presentations by impersonators of various internationally acclaimed artists. Food and drinks were on sale as well.
Sunday morning started off early, as for the first time, the Roman Catholic Church hosted a special procession called "El Encuentro". This procession depicted the meeting of Mary, the Holy Mother with her resurrected son Jesus Christ at a central location where angels gathered with songs of worship and praise. For this grand event, the women dressed in white, gathered at the Belize Bank carrying the statue of the Virgin Mary. The men gathered at the RC School carrying a symbolic statue of the resurrected Jesus Christ. At around 7:30am, the two started their slow procession along the front street to the meeting point at the front of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, also known as the Friendship Park.
Oceana teamed up with Mama Vilma's Halfway Home to throw an all day reef party at the Central Park. Proceeds from the day's event went to further support the Mama Vilma cause. Live music was provided by the Island Ambassadors and the Super Latinos Band, while DJ Loggie further entertained the crowd.
A little further down the beach, Aquatic Sports Belize Ltd. teamed up with the Holiday Hotel for their Grand Easter Sunday beach party. The day of fun for the entire family included the underwater egg hunt, kayak races, live music and special deals on aquatic sport equipment rentals.
Well over a hundred children along with their guardians flocked to Caribbean Villas for the Saga Humane Society's Easter Fundraiser egg hunt. With fun games like bunny ring toss, pin the tail on the bunny, sand bag toss, relay races, tug-o-war and others, all those in attendance had an exciting time.
Exotic Caye Beach Resort was the venue for Moose's annual Kite competition. Children created and flew their homemade kites for a chance to win Belize Bank Savings Accounts. First prize went to Byron Lara who won a $200 account. Interestingly, Byron wasn't registered to compete, however upon viewing the participants and their kites, he was highly interested and demonstrated his resourcefulness by building his kite right then and there. He scurried to the bathroom where he got toilet paper and paper towels, gathered some sticks and built his winning kite. The second place winner received a $100 account and third place won a $50 account. Even though the turn out was small, the children who participated had a great time and the crowd was well entertained.
With the Easter weekend gone and the many, many visitors having left the island we take this opportunity to reflect on the very successful Easter celebrations on the island. Our beaches were covered with an array of cultures as the many business establishments reaped the financial gains. We all had the opportunity to be a part of a truly multi-cultural experience while enjoying a long holiday weekend with family and friends. Click here for the rest of the story and more pictures