The Lopinot Heritage Festival 2006

Member of the Cornelio family serves drinks to commerorate the festive occasion
Member of the Cornelio family serves drinks to commerorate the festive occasion Staff Article
Event Date: December 10, 2006
Posted: December 12, 2006

The Lopinot Heritage Festival took place on Sunday 12th December, 2006, to a crowd of hundreds. This event, although very festive in nature, was also an educational experience for visitors to learn about Parang in Lopinot.

The event began a little before midday with a procession from the vicinity of the Lopinot Heritage Site to the La Veronica R.C. Church on the Lopinot main road. A solemn procession was lead to the church by the Parranderos from various Parang groups, and after the sermon by the La Veronica R.C. Parish priest, they left the compound with this music. As the group proceeded, the atmosphere became more lively and festive, picking up more participants along the way.

The Parang music continued as the gathering arrived at the first of two houses. Upon arrival, Mr. Ricardo Rambally of the Lopinot Tourist Action Committee took this time to explain what usually happens during a house to house Parang session. He talked about the songs used to enter and exit a house, the dances that accompanied the songs and the food and drink that is usually offered to the Parranderos by the hosts. Once familiarized with what to expect, the crowds' experience began with getting the approval of the house owners. Similar Parang rituals took place at the homes of the Alexis and the Cornelio families. Next stop for those who had participated in the Parang procession brought the group to the Lopinot Heritage site, where final preparations for the entertainment portion of the days activities along with an ever-growing crowd, brought the festivities into full swing.

The bands that played until late that evening were: Living Legends of Lopinot Parang group, La Familia de Carmona y Amigos Parang group, David and Friends Parang band, Santa Cecilia Parang group, Maracas Serenaders Parang group and members of the Los Niņos Del Este parang group ( 2nd place winners of the National Parang Competition 2005).

Before the music begun, Mr. Ricardo Rambally of the Lopinot Tourist Action Committee recited a prayer in Spanish followed by an introduction to the proceedings by MC, Mr. Farouk Khan.

Mr. Rambally also guided the audience through a demonstration of the Cocoa Dance, done to shine the cocoa beans before sale. Mr. Cyril Cooper of the Lopinot Tourist Action Committee helped in the demonstration of the Cocoa Dance along with members of the audience who were invited on stage. Those who were brave enough dance were presented with hampers by the Lopinot Tourist Action Committee.

Also interesting was a romantic poem recited by Mr. Dudley Vallantyne of the Lopinot Tourist Action Committee, which was applauded by all.

Other activities around the area included the sale of different foods from Lopinot as well as various souvenir items. Additionally, one cannot forget to mention the dancing that took place in the venue. Even those who were inexperienced with dancing to Parang music tried to mimic the professionals or do their own thing on the dance floor.

Although the programme ended around 8p.m., Parang lovers have no designated time to halt their enjoyment of the music. Evidently, the love of Parang extending a seasonal basis, is a growing trend in the country.

The Lopinot Heritage Festival in pictures:

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