Accentuating the ambience and mood was Blue Lotus located at Brahma Blue; accentuating the airwaves was the island’s very own The Reef Radio; and accentuating the romantic Valentine night was The San Pedro Sun and their annual Poetry Contest.
For years, the island’s newspaper has been holding a poetry contest for “closet” or open poets. Tamara Sniffin, Editor, commented that this year has been the best so far. With many more entries received than ever before, they arrived in every way via fax, email, dropped off and even by cell phone text.
Spicing up this year’s contest was the inclusion of wonderful hosts Sunny, Ruby and Herb, along with their fabulous staff at the Blue Lotus. They cooked up and served an amazing, authentic Indian buffet, complete with wine, giveaways and the favorite drink of many, the Jewel of India. Keeping everyone entertained was host of the night, Jorge Aldana, news director for The Reef Radio, and Luis Romero, host of the session heard live through the station’s airwaves and live internet feed. This year, among the many surprises held during the night, was a memento from The San Pedro Sun which included all the poems entered, plus a list of the prizes, as well as names of the sponsors.
Accompanying Jorge as host was Kainie Manuel and through the night, the duo read the poems for the diners at Blue Lotus as well as for all radio listeners. One by one the poems were read and through intermissions, teddy bears and chocolates were given away to romantic patrons. Along with their booklets, diners also received a judging sheet with the names of all the poems on it; they were surprised with the task of judges. At the end of the night six entries had won the fabulous prizes and walked away winners of the Valentine’s Poetry Contest.
Entries were judged in categories which were Grand Prize, Most Romantic, Funniest, Foreign, plus there were two Honorable Mentions. Winners are as follows: Grand Prize – Belizean Valentine by Julie Muller, Most Romantic – A humble gift on Valentine’s by Vernon Tillett, Funniest went to Standard 4 student of the Island Academy Hannah Gaunt for her poem entitled Smelly Sock Love, Honorable Mentions went to Lauren Trejo also a Standard 4 student at the Island Academy, for her poem entitled Tatito, and Joseph Castillo for Do You. The Foreign category winner was taken by Bradley Haylock with his entry honoring a beloved and dearly missed Calendar Girl entitled To my beloved wife, Marie Haylock.
Prizes were fabulous this year and winners walked away with the following; Muller – A night’s stay at the new deluxe Brahma Blue, complimentary bottle of champagne (courtesy of the Liquor Box) and a dinner for two at Blue Lotus; Tillett – dinner for two at Rendezvous Restaurant, and a bottle of champagne (courtesy of the Liquor Box); Gaunt took home a Sunset Cruise for two courtesy of Seaduced and a bottle of champagne (courtesy of the Liquor Box); Trejo – dinner for two at Blue Lotus and a bottle of champagne (courtesy of the Liquor Box), Castillo won a dinner for two at Portofino and a bottle of champagne (courtesy of the Liquor Box) while Haylock will receive his weekly edition of The San Pedro Sun delivered to his residence in Costa Rica for a full year.
The San Pedro Sun thanks the following businesses and individuals for their great assistance in making this annual event the best yet: Caye Winds, David Mitchell, Crazy Canucks, Bigotes Car Wash and Welding Shop, Betsy Store, Caye Coffee, and Sambo’s Mechanic Shop, Blue Lotus and Brahma Blue, Rendezvous Restaurant, Portofino, Liquor Box, and Seaduced by Belize.