Big Party on Utila
Utila Midsummer partying gets competitive

September 1st, 2007
by Thomas Tomczyk

[private]

Musical group, Banda de Guerra del Manuel, on the main street of Utila.

Musical group, Banda de Guerra del Manuel, on the main street of Utila.

The weeklong celebration on Utila ended with a bang. On Saturday, July 28, the biggest fireworks display the island has ever seen took place in Utila’s harbor. With UPCO working overtime, there was enough energy in the place to not only power every hotel in town, but to keep people dancing well past midnight. “It is the first year we did not have a power interruption,” said Patrick Flynn, president of the Carnival committee.

During the week, neighborhood evening parties were staged as well as daytime volleyball tournaments with 666 participating teams and hundreds of spectators. A Roatan team ended up taking the first prize and $1,000.

On Sunday, 24 floats participated in a parade from Chepas Beach to Industrial Dock while the La Ceiba musical group, Banda de Guerra del Manuel Bonilla, marched to their own beat. Half of Utila was on parade, while the other half watched. You didn’t even need to have a place of work to fund your own float.

“Carnival has to function on its own with its own infrastructure,” said Flynn. “The few problems we had will be worked out and organized better for the next year.”

While the accounting for the Carnival is still not closed, Flynn expects the event to break even or even bring in a modest profit. “We came out far ahead of all the past years [Carnivals],” said Flynn. In a bid to boost the number of tourists, the Carnival organizers paid room, board and transport of the media to the event. “It is our goal to see it become an event to equal the Sun Jam,” said Flynn. [/private]

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