As the expected date for the Costa Maya Festival draws near, the committee is meeting weekly to discuss and plan. Meetings are held every Thursday at the Paradise Hotel at 7:30 p.m. Anyone willing to join the committee is welcome to attend. At the last meeting held, many points were addressed including the following:
The office, located downstairs of the Town Hall at the back, is now open. Elsie Garcia will staff the office and can be contacted Monday through Friday during normal working hours at telephone 026-3016. Ms. Garcia is there to assist with questions and give out information concerning the many segments of the festival.
A favorite part of the festival has become the selection of Reina de la Costa Maya International. Already confirmed is the representative from Mexico. Ms. Denisse Guzman, Nuestra Belleza Colima 1998 will honor us with her presence during the pageant. The contestants from El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala will be announced in upcoming editions of the San Pedro Sun.
Since Kairo was officially announced as the International artist performing for Belize/International Night, the response from the public has been very favorable. When their promotional material arrives, the committee will be asking local disc jockeys to play their songs to get everyone ready for what promises to be an unforgettable concert.
Negotiations with the embassies about the bands and dancers from the visiting countries are almost complete and names will be announced shortly. The lineup of countries during the festival will commence with El Salvador (also Miss Costa Maya Pageant) - August 17th; Guatemala - August 18th; Honduras - August 19th; Mexico - August 20th (Flashback has been confirmed to play for Mexico Night); Belize/International - August 21st; and Local Day on August 22nd. All local dance or music groups willing to perform free gratis are asked to contact the festival office.
Office Administrator for the Belize Rural South Office, Ms. Trisha Estelle in San Pedro brought good news to the gathering. She confirmed the approval of a request to Hon. Ralph Fonseca to assist the festival with funds. Hon. Fonseca, Minister of Budget Planning and Management, Economic Development, Investment and Trade graciously contributed $15,000 to the festival. In addition, he also authorized a $40,000 loan to the festival. Final details are being drafted before this money is received. The festival depends on sponsorship to initiate the planning and insure its financial success. Added to the sponsor list are: Belize Bank and Southwind Properties who recently became Silver sponsors. Other sponsors are Maya Island Air, Bowen & Bowen, Cuellos Distillery, San Pedro Town Board and the San Pedro Sun. Hotels are being solicited to contribute lodging for the visiting delegates and entertainers. The Villas at Banyan Bay joined Bananas Beach Resort, Coconuts Hotel, Holiday Hotel, Mayan Princess, Playador Hotel, Paradise Resort, Ramon's Village, Royal Palm Villas, SunBreeze Hotel and Victoria House as hotel sponsors. Generous donations have been received from Nellie's Laundromat who contributed $100, Polo's Golf Cart Rental who offered a free golf cart for one week and Bruce and Charlene Johnston from BC's Beach Bar who donated $250.
Negotiations are still underway concerning the sound, stage and light system. Artists are reminded that the Costa Maya Logo Competition is still open. The committee is holding a contest for a permanent "official logo" that will be used for each year's festival. This logo will not change from year to year and can be used for more bulk content articles such as stationery letterheads. The official logo must be small enough, approximately a two inch square, to fit on a breast pocket or sleeve of a shirt. This will be representative of the Costa Maya Festival itself. An additional theme logo that will change yearly will be featured on T-shirts, promotional material and souvenirs. The theme logo can be larger and this year will feature the Millenium or Year 2000. Entries should be sent to Nando Trejo or Gach Guerrero at Maya Island Air or Eiden Salazar at the Town Hall. Businesses are asked to plan daily activities during the week of the festival to entertain visitors. The mechanical games, a favorite of the children, has also been confirmed. Food and product booths are now available. The booths will measure 8' x 10' and will offer a single light fixture and outlet. Price per booth is $360 and will be sold on a first-come first-serve basis. The price of a booth also entitles the buyer to two-six day passes. Interested persons need to give a deposit of $100 with the balance to be paid by July 15th, 1999. Applications are available at the Costa Maya Office.
The Costa Maya Committee welcomes suggestions and/or recommendations to make the 1999 festival bigger and better.
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