MIAMI–St. Lucia officials are planning to hold an annual rum and food
festival this fall that will highlight the island nation's culinary and musical
heritage. The three-day event will run from Oct. 26 to Oct. 29 and cost $500
for each guest, according to the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association. St Lucia officials made the announcement to a
group of journalists gathered for the Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference in Miami. The $500 fee does
not include airfare or hotel accommodations, but is commissionable for travel
agents at 10 percent. "It's the first time we are having an event lead off
the winter," said Allen Chastanet, president of the association.
"We're trying to highlight the culinary heights we've achieved in St. Lucia."
The festival, aimed to attract a 30-something crowd, will include a Rum
Pavilion for rum and wine tastings, Caribbean music acts, cooking
demonstrations, cigar rolling exhibitions, a rum cruise and three dinners at
local restaurants. The music acts include shows from Third
World, Monte Alexander, Arrow and others, officials said. In Other
News: An Ireland-based development company has signed a letter of intent for
the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to manage a new 250-room property in St. Lucia,
officials for the island nation said. The new Ritz-Carlton, named the
Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, is expected to open in two years on the southern end
of the island and will include an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course.