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Corn Island will celebrate its Crab Festival

Cinthia Membreño | Aug 23, 2011

Cultural performance during the Crab Festival. Photo provided by INTUR (Jose David Barrera).

Local food, sport games, beauty contests, parades and a memorial trip will be part of the celebrations.

The 170th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean will be celebrated in Great and Little Corn Island with a new edition of the traditional Crab Festival. The program of activities will begin on Friday, August 16 and will last four days, during which locals and tourists will be able to taste some of the local food, witness sports games, beauty contests and parades, and be part of a memorial trip to Little Corn Island.

According to Charles Hodgson, coordinator of the event, two activities will be held on Friday. One of them will start at 2:00 pm, leaving from Queen Hill, with the offical presentation of the seven candidates to Miss Corn Island. Later, at 6:00 pm, there will be a volleyball competition with groups from the cities of Blufields, Pearl Lagoon, Orinoco, Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi) and Kukra Hill.

On Saturday, August 27, the official day of the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean, the inhabitants of Great Corn Island will begin their day at 4:00 am with fireworks, as a way to let people know that the celebrations have begun. Three hours later, there will be a parade that will leave from Sout West Beach and will tour the entire island. After that, the central event will be held in South End, which is where a variety of cultural and sports presentations will take place. According to the coordinator of the event, this is the only day when inhabitants and tourists get free crab soup.

The program of activities will continue on Sanday 28 with a horse race that will be held at 2:00 pm in Long Bay. At 6:00 pm, Miss Corn Island will be crowned at the municipal stadium of Great Corn Island. Finally, on Monday, August 29, there will be free transportation for those who want to participate on a memorial trip fom Great to Little Corn Island. The activity will be held to remember the moment when the inhabitants of the bigger island gave the message to the smaller one, located 15 Km Northeast of Great Corn.

The origins of the Crab Festival:

On August 27, 1841, the inhabitants of Great and Little Corn Island - once part of the territory of La Mosquitia, extinct indigenous reign which was allied with the British crown and consisting on the Nicaraguan and Honduran Caribbean Coast - celebrated the abolition of slavery with lots of food and crab soup (one of the main dishes in the area). The abolishment of slavery was an order of Queen Victoria of England and King Robert Charles Frederick of La Mosquitia.