From early in the day Chairman Phillip Shoul started to worry about the launch party, not about whether it would be a success, but how on earth we were going to fit everyone in. The party which for many people has become the hi-light of their year, has now established itself as one of the most anticipated parties of the year in Antigua.
The best way to describe the atmosphere is like a really great wedding, everyone knows each other, and if newcomers manage to get in, they are welcomed with open arms.
By 8 pm the official start time for the party, most of the tables were already taken with people tucking into goat water, conch water, chilli, West Indian curry and a whole host of other tasty snacks and the drinks were flowing liberally.
Over 350 people somehow packed their way into Life Bar and Restaurant and by 10 pm the house was rocking, or should we say bouncing. When that amount of people jump together, the floor literally shakes. By 11.30pm Chairman Philip Shoul called the party to order in his own inimitable style and delivered a faster and better organised raffle than previous years ensuring revelers could get on with the important business of dancing again as Chickie continued to play some of the old favourites.
Some fantastic prizes were won including 4 Digicel Blackberry Handsets, dinners for 2 at St. James Club Resort, Le Bistro, Carmichael's Restaurant at the Sugar Ridge Hotel, Hermitage Bay Hotel, The Verandah Resort and Spa, Coconut Grove, Sandals Grand Antigua, Jumby Bay Hotel, Bay House Restaurant at Tradewinds Hotel and The Cove Restaurant at Blue Waters Hotel along with two beautiful Guess watches courtesy of Colombian Emeralds and a weekend for two at Buccaneer Beach Club and Curtain Bluff Resort.
Fishing boat Susie Q won the draw from registered boats of a weekends free accommodation at the Copper and Lumber Hotel during the tournament itself in two weeks time.
The final and best suprise of the night was the appearance of Claudette Peters, Sleepy and Taxik who put on a superb 90 minute performance. In a venue of this size, the band struck a great balance of old favourites delivering an intimate performance to the crowd and ending with the house shaker again ' I've Got a Feeling'. Proprietor of Life Bar and Restaurant Gillian Gallagher was spotted saying a little prayer that the floor would stand up to the pounding.
We are delighted to say it did, and ended a fantastic night for all. Chairman Phillip Shoul and the organising committee would like to thank sponsors Digicel, Ondeck, United Insurance agent Anjo Insurances, Outdoor World and Yamaha, Carib and Monster distributed by A.S. Brydens and Sons (Antigua) Ltd, Cavalier and Oasis distributed by Premier Beverages Ltd, Colombian Emeralds, Observer Media Group, JoJan Studios, Luyo Design.com and Antiguanice.com as well as the Life Bar and Restaurant.
Enjoy all the photos of the evening by checking out the gallery.