Clarendon residents, visitors happy with 2017 Ash Wednesday Festival renewal

Residents of Clarendon and neighbouring parishes have given positive reviews of the annual Bull Head Mountain Ash Wednesday Festival held on March 1.

The Bull Head Mountain Peak, dubbed the highest point in the parish of Clarendon and the epicentre of Jamaica, is home to the annual festival.

Local economic development officer at the Clarendon Municipal Corporation and coordinator of the event, Damion Young said that organisers saw where they could maximise on the event in a number of ways, especially because the mountain holds symbolic and historic significance.

Young and his team of organisers sought out as much community involvement as possible. Entertainment acts such as Jodian Pantry, and Kellits High School’s Drama Club among others; the main sponsor, Bull Head Spring Water, local farmers and restaurants represented.

Young said that nearly 1,000 people were in attendance in comparison to last year when an estimated 20 attended. The day’s proceedings started off in the morning with a 5K nature walk up the mountain trail. On the peak was a stage welcoming various acts. A kiddie’s village as well as booths were set up for vendors and Government and private agencies.

Many of the patrons and organisers said that this year’s staging of the festival was a great improvement from last year.

Councillor for the Croft’s Hill Division, Anthony O’Connor said that he has been attending the festival for over 29 years. “Growing up, I used to attend the Ash Wednesday festival. It was like a picnic, but over the past years it has died down…last year it was not so large, approximately 40 persons were here, so it really was going away,” said O’Connor.

Like O’Connor, each year, groups of friends and families from various parts of the island journey through the cool climbs of the mountain trail to partake in the festivities.
Ital vendor, Bobo Irie too, has been a supporter of the festival for several years. Irie said he believes that this event will get back it’s glory. “All two, three years ago this flop out,” said Irie, insisting that based upon what transpired at this year’s festival, great things are in store for subsequent years.

Educator Jeff Jackson from Ewarton St Catherine is a first -time supporter of the festival who described it as very enjoyable. “It’s a good venture and I hear it’s a year to year thing… the weather is nice, a lot of trees. We’re in the forest area, and it’s peaceful.”

Jackson said that he would attend again and invite more persons to take the journey with him.