Despite some level of controversy, the first ever Giraudel/Eggleston Flower Festival has been dubbed a success by organizers.
The event, which took place instead of the popular ‘Giraudel/Eggleston Flower Show,’ was held from May 8 to 10.
Organizers of the ‘Flower Show’ said the event will not be held this year due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
President of the Giraudel/ Eggleston Flower Growers Group, Stephanie Royer said, the group thought it was best to postpone the ‘Flower Show’ until further notice, “because we had no choice but to protect the members of the Flower Group…”
Despite this Ceaser Catin, one of the organizers of the Flower Festival, said although the event was affected by strong winds, support from the community was good.
“It is our first time and the way it was, it was good. It was nice,” he said. “Saturday night we had a very large turnout, also Sunday.”
He stated further for future Flower Festivals, organizers plan to have more promotions leading to the main event at an earlier date.
“We need to make the Giraudel Flower Festival a big event for both communities and if we can plan, work towards that and plan early enough, I think that can be a big thing,” Catin noted.
Catin also believes that the Giraudel/Eggleston Youth Group (the force behind the Flower Festival) and the Giraudel Flower Growers, which organizes the Flower Show, can unite to strengthen the Festival.
“We can make a solid force to push the Flower Festival forward and make it a major event,” he said.
According to him, the collaboration will not only benefit the Giraudel/ Eggleston community but Dominica on a whole.
The ‘Flower Festival’ began with an opening ceremony on Friday (May 8 ) followed by a flower exhibition, and a gospel festival on the same day.
On the following day (May 9), a ‘band splash’ was held with entertainment from the XS Groove band.
The final day (May 10) a family fun day was held which include bouncing castles, performance from dance groups from Giraudel, among other activities.
Sources told DNO that initially the Giraudel/Eggleston Flower Growers Group had agreed to collaborate with the Youth Group in staging the Flower Festival but it later disassociated itself from the event after a proposal for the Festival, which included a pageant, was circulated.
Royer said that her group had organized a series of meetings and the Flower Festival organizers were invited but they never attended.
“The very same people who are behind the Flower Festival, they were invited, given written invitations to attend community meetings and they never attend,” she said.
To complicate matters, Catin, said organizers of the Flower Festival could not use the government-funded venue that normally hosts the Flower Show “because of the back and forth with the Giraudel/ Eggleston Flower Growers…”
“It’s just that at the later moment, a week before the Flower Festival, the (Village) Council advised us to ask for it,” he explained. “Knowing that the government that funded it, the young people being outside hosting the event wasn’t looking good, so they advised us to ask for the building which we did but, it didn’t seem to go down well.”
However, Royer had said in an earlier interview with DNO no request was made at that time by the Flower Festival organizers to use the building.
She said if permission was asked, the building could be used “but with conditions.”
See displays Flower Festival below.