Romania, Grenada and Japan have been added to the lineup for one of the country’s most popular festivals – the 24th International Culture Wine and Food Festival (ICWFF), bringing the number of participating countries up to 21 with 120 booths for patrons to peruse offerings that run the gamut from food and drink to art, craft and even national clothing, which means there’s something for everyone.
ICWFF, which is akin to two days of eating and drinking around the world, with participants putting the culture of their native lands front and center, takes place October 19-20 at the Botanical Gardens.
Each year, festival organizers seek to ratchet up the excitement and give patrons new experiences to look forward to, and this year is no different, with a movie night added to the schedule with a Saturday night showing of the film “Spider Man” taking place on the main lawn at 7 p.m. as an added attraction. Patrons are encouraged to bring their fold-up chairs and blankets to enjoy the movie-on-the-lawn experience. The past two festivals saw some of the country’s top bands rocking the house, much to patrons’ delight.
ICWFF will have the usual mix of national booths, with a large Bahamian village featuring the best of Bahamian food, beverages and crafts.
“ICWFF promises wonderfully diverse cuisine, and to immerse patrons into multiple cultures in one location,” promises Kendenique Campbell-Moss, festival public relations.
Cultural performances from a cross-section of residents and the colorful national costumes and global experiences as usual are to be had. Then there are the art and craft booths located through the festival site, offering colorful and unique items from around the world and The Bahamas, as well as a cultural show.
As usual, just for the kiddies, an amusement area will be set up with all the things that fascinate children – bouncy houses and rides in addition to the Botanical Gardens’ own play area. Then there are the kiddie-centric booths that will offer face painting, and generally all the treats children love.
Campbell-Moss said the festival should exceed people’s expectations as usual.
“The many vendors we have always make for a melting pot that truly makes the festival amazing. And then there’s the culture on display which is always fabulous.”
Interactive cultural demonstrations also make for exciting times.
Campbell-Moss is one of those people who year-after-year makes a beeline to the Filipino stall, which she has said is a must-do for her.
“Their food is always hot, and I can get the extra spice because I like my food spicy. I don’t care what anyone else is selling, how many times I sample anyone else’s, my money just goes towards the Filipinos, and it’s always clean and fresh and very good. They’re a staple, and because they’ve become such a staple, they have prime spots in terms of the fluidity to get to and from them – they’re directly opposite one of the main stages so people can go directly to them to get what it is that they need,” she said.
Aliv has also come on board as the presenting sponsor for the event, and will be featured on the main lawn offering a charging station and WiFi, giveaways, as well as their non-profit platform Aliv Together.
Aliv officials say Aliv Together is a secure web platform for communities and supporters to fundraise and cast a wider net for support, which allows people to design a campaign that lets their supporters know the progress and financial goals of their good cause, and – most importantly – friends, families and communities can keep up to date with their progress like never before.
ICWFF serves as the unofficial jumpstart to festival season.
It was originally conceived to recognize United Nations Day. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the festival fosters friendly relations and understanding between Bahamians and the international resident community. The experience that emerged from members of the community has become a signature event that serves to demonstrate just how diverse and cosmopolitan The Bahamas has become.
Since its reinstatement in 2008, the festival has proven to be arguably the most popular in the country.
Festival gates open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and close at 7 p.m.; on Sunday, gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Adults are $10, children $3 and University of the Bahamas students with identification $5.