Those of you following closely the tireless efforts of the Costa Maya Committee are aware of their weekly meetings held every Thursday. Well this is no more. Everything has fallen into place and the committee can safely say that apart from some small details, the planning of the festival is complete. The committee will not be holding its regular meetings now, but will have a one day retreat to finalize all the details of the festival.
All countries participating in the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant have revealed the names of their queens. Puerto Rico's first time at the festival will be represented by Miss Ymak Fagundo Soto. Honduras will be sending 18 year old, Ms. Jill Lorie Grant, El Salvador will be represented by the second finalist of Miss El Salvador 1999, Ms. Marcella Eugenia Godoy Mancia who will join Miss World Guatemala, Beatriz Gonzalez Schell and Nuestra Belleza Colima 1998, Ms. Denise Guzman representing Mexico. Representing Belize is San Pedro's own Miss Vanya Vasquez.
Confirmed performances are as follows: Tuesday, August 17th - El Salvador, featuring Grupo Do Mayor and Ballet Nacional de El Salvador; Wednesday, August 18th - Guatemala will feature Nueva Era and Grupo Inguat; Thursday, August 19th - Honduras presents Los Rolands and Grupo Coma Yagueta, winner of the National Festival of Folkloric Dances 1998-99; Friday, August 20th is Mexico night and will showcase the comedic duo Huarachin and Huarachon. They will be only part of a night filled with excitement as the band Flashback, Mariachi Los Galleros and dancers from the Instituto Technologico de Chetumal, Quintana Roo will also perform. Saturday, August 21st - International Night featuring the band Kairo. Gilharry 7 and the Belize Dance Co., both sponsored by the Belize Tourism Board will also perform. Grand Sunday will feature local artists who are being solicited to perform free of charge. Scheduled are Gilharry 7, San Pedro Dance Company and Barbara's Dance Group. Tuki Tuki, the official San Pedro mascot will make an appearance at the festival grounds every night to give away candy to the kiddies.
Tickets are now on sale for the following prices: adults - $85; children - $40; nightly tickets (at the gate) adult - $20, and children - $15 except for Saturday, Belize Night when Kairo will perform and tickets will cost $40. Ticket agencies are: Amigo Travel, Nellie's Laundromat, Costa Maya Office, Lala's Store, Fantasy World, Martha's Ice, Milo's Store, Tropical Take-Out, Wally's Electrical, Yetie's Store, Island Magic and JC's Gifts. Tickets for Belize/International Night when Kairo will perform are available only at Amigo Travel and Costa Maya Office.
The festival activities will kick-off with the arrival of the participants of Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant. The beauty ambassadors will be arriving in the country on Monday, August 9th when they will make their first public appearance at the Radisson Fort George Hotel for the official sashing of the contestants. The committee is hoping that the Prime Minister of Belize, Said Musa will do the sashing. A cocktail reception will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the pool side of the Radisson. There is a $40 cover charge to attend this glamorous event. In San Pedro, tickets to attend the sashing ceremony can be purchased from BHA Board member Julia Edwards at the Sun- Breeze Hotel. The following morning the beauty ambassadors will get a tour of Belize City and the Mayan City of Altun-Ha. The contestants will then travel to San Pedro on Tuesday, August 10th and will be staying at Ramon's Village. They will have a walking tour of the town and will visit the Ambergris Museum from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A schedule of events has been arranged for the contestants leading to the day of the pageant.
Those interested in purchasing a food or product booth, this is your last opportunity to do so since only a limited amount of booths are left. The mechanical games at this year's festival will offer a variety of new games and prizes sure to attract the children. In an effort to keep everything running smooth and crime-free, the services of ten tourism police have been confirmed, as well of the services of special constables.
During the festival, a delegation from the Mundo Maya Countries will be on the island where they will be holding their annual meeting. The delegation has been contacted and have agreed to be present during some days of the festival. The committee sees this as a good opportunity for the representatives of the Mundo Maya Countries to associate themselves with the committee and as a way to make the festival more productive and successful.
The committee would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Grand Sponsor - Grupo TACA the official airline of the Costa Maya International Festival; Platinum Sponsors - Tropic Air and Krystal Shipping; Diamond Sponsors - Belize Rural South, Coca-Cola, Cuello's Distillery, Estereo Amor/Love FM, Ramon's Village and San Pedro Town Board; Gold Sponsor - San Pedro Sun, Belize Tourism Board, Journey's End Resort, Maya Island Air, Aero Caribe, Batty Brothers Bus Services and Ambergris Today; Silver Sponsors - Atlantic Bank, Belize Bank, Pete's Enterprises and Southwind Properties; Bronze Sponsors - Amigos del Mar, Angelus Press, La Popular Bakery, Lino's Meats, Maple Plastics and NOVA Co.; Reina de La Costa Maya Sponsor - Coco Palm Restaurant, Elvi's Kitchen, Island Cuisine, Fantasy World, Mata Chica, Micky's Place and Tropica. The Noche San Pedrana will be hosted by Victoria House. This is the evening set aside for the pageant contestants to meet with business leaders of the community. Hotel Sponsors are Bananas Beach Resort, Banyan Bay, Coconuts Hotel, Holiday Hotel, Mayan Princess, Paradise Resort Hotel, Playador Hotel, Ramon's Village, Royal Palm Villas, SunBreeze Hotel and Victoria House. Coppertone Sponsor - James Brodie Co. Ltd. Other generous donations have been received from BC's Beach Bar, Langdon Supply, Nellie's Laundromat and Polo's Golf Cart Rental.
Anyone needing further information should contact Ms. Elsie Morataya or Mr. Wil Alamilla Jr. at the Costa Maya office at 026-3016 Monday through Friday during normal working hours.
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