Greasy Pole contest at a River Regatta in Belize City, 1910
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Greasy Pole contest at a River Regatta in Belize City, 1910

The Greezy Pole was erected either Straight up, Horizontal, Slanted up or slanted down. An attractive prize was placed at the end of the pole (often a ham). The most attractive prize was placed at the top of the straight UP Pole. It was the hardest to climb.

The Prize belonged to the person that reached it. It was very hard to accomplish but it was doable. As participants one after another tried, the grease is getting rubbed off the pole. Eventually enough of the grease would come off and one of the participants would reach the prize and claim it. The fun was to watch the participants one after the other slip off the pole and fall into the water.

Icilda Jennifer Coye Paredez: They had this contest in the little creole village Gales Point Manatee in the early 1940's. It went straight up like a lamp post. That was one of the main highlights of the day apart from the dorey race, other boat race schooners & other sail boats race. Gales Point was our little paradise here on earth. My brother Evan Coye use to run the seven miles to Mullins River & back most mornings also, most village people were very strong back in those days, that is why they lived well over a hundred years old. They also drank pure bush meds & bush tea. They also got their fresh water from Quamins Creek, the purest & sweetest water you ever tasted. That place was our paradise on earth.

Photograph courtesy Belize Abroad

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