Memorial Park Opens for Village Expo Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 05 September 2013 00:00

Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Tracy Taegar-Panton, at the Village ExpoThe new and improved Memorial Park was officially opened on Saturday, August 31st. The renovation of the park was part of the Fort Point Pedestrian Project. The Fort Point Pedestrian Walk Project falls under the IDB financed Sustainable Tourism Project. The Memorial Park has been transformed into a multi-functional public space for special events, recreation and leisure activities. The war memorial has been renovated and it includes commemorative plaques and improved ceremonial features. The bandstand has been renovated to create a theatre like atmosphere. There are several vending machines for daily use and an additional amount for permanent use and storage. The facility also has space for tour operators and residential and visitor parking. The Memorial Park is also expected to house the largest Belize flag in the country.

Mayor Darrel Bradley was present at the opening of the park. He said, “This park represents a historic site for those who are honored here- for those who have served their country and other countries in the year of war. It represents a community space for those in this neighborhood; it represents an economic vehicle for those in a tourism industry. It represents an opportunity for meeting and for forging relationships with those who come here to visit and to play and recreate. It signals the redevelopment and transformation and the reclaiming of the city." Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Tracy Taegar-Panton, added, “Our cultural traditions and national September celebrations are rooted here.”

The Village Arts and Craft Expo 2013 took place immediately after the opening of the park and will go down in history as the first event held at the improved Memorial Park. The Village Expo was established in 2012 in order to highlight the quality of pieces being created by the artisans across the country. There were a little over eighty artisans at last year’s Village Expo and this year there were more than 150. Every single district and almost all ethnic groups in Belize were represented. The pieces included paintings, wooden sculptures, jewelry, clothing and other accessories. There were also traditional delicacies such as cacao beans, fudge, wangla and other tasty treats. Food and drinks were on sale. The crowd swelled during the afternoon as locals and tourists passed through to see what the artisans had to present. Super Furia Band turned the event into a party around closing time at 4 p.m.