Second Edition of Seher il-Punent in Gharb this weekend
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The Gharb Local Council, in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo, is once again organising a weekend-long festival of cultural events in a bid to further boost cultural tourism to Gozo in the leaner season. This was announced this morning by the Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, and David Apap, mayor of Gharb, in a press conference held at the Ministry for Gozo.
Following the success gained by last year’s first edition of Seher il-Punent, the organisers are again proposing a varied programme spread over the coming weekend from the 28th to 30th of March. Programmed activities will be mainly performed on three stages situated around Church Street, Visitation Square and surrounding areas in the village core. The village square will be the main venue for concerts and other entertaining events which will see performances by popular artistes on the current Maltese music scene.
These will include the young Gozitan singer, Morena, who was this year’s winner of the Malta Song for Europe. A live concert to be performed on Saturday the 30th by Tribute Band ZU2, specially brought over from the UK, is expected to attract a considerable audience. Band marches will provide the ‘festa’ feeling in this cultural festival whilst four roving re-enactors in Venetian costume will merge with the unique traditional atmosphere of this picturesque village to further enhance the captivating features throughout these evenings. Several food stalls will be serving traditional food on specially set-up tables in the main square.
Throughout the three festival days visitors may participate in cultural walks which aim to put Gharb’s unique characteristics in the limelight. These often hidden elements include local artisans and craftsmen who still keep traditional crafts alive. The re-enactment of ‘il-Qiegha’ (straw harvesting) promises to be a unique experience whilst other activities such as an art exhibition, visits to a local wine cellar for wine-tasting sessions, and walking tours around characteristic places and traditional museums in the village will provide information on past and present ways of life in this fascinating village in the West of Gozo. Opening hours at the nearby Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village will be specially extended for this occasion.
Speaking at the first public press conference since her re-appointment as Minister for Gozo, Minister Debono praised the Mayor and all councillors of Gharb for their initiative which will again benefit from financial support through the Gozo Attractions Incentive Scheme of the National Lotteries Good Causes Fund. Minister Debono explained how during the past legislature Government acknowledged the particular difficulties experienced by the general tourism industry in Gozo due to the seasonality factor. It was thus that Government, through the Ministry for Gozo, launched various initiatives to mitigate this specific reality, in order to attract more visitors from the domestic market.
Seher il-Punent and various other cultural and entertaining activities held in Gozo over the less popular months during the year have proven to be a good means of publicity to increase Gozo’s potential attractions at these times. One such activity organised by the Ministry for Tourism in conjunction with the Ministry for Gozo was that of Lejlet Lapsi-Notte Gozitana, which will also be organised for the second time in the coming months. The Minister expressed the intention of continuing to give necessary priority to the tourism industry in Gozo which has significant impact on the general socio-economic development of the island and its people. This importance was also acknowledged by the party in Government through the inclusion of several proposals specifically relating to Gozo in its electoral programme, amongst which the setting up of a Tourism Directorate within the Ministry for Gozo.
Gharb mayor, David Apap, expressed his satisfaction at the success achieved by last year’s Seher il-Punent. He explained that the main aim behind the organisation of this festival is to expose the surviving traditional aspects as well as the unique natural ambience of the characteristic village of Gharb. This year’s programme comprises the same mixture of cultural events and entertaining activities that promise to make this edition another successful event.
Seher il-Punent cultural festival will be held in Gharb between the long weekend of Friday the 28th and Sunday the 30th of March 2008. Bookings on tel: 21560556 / 99250198 are recommended for the cultural walking tours. Further information can also be obtained on the website at www.gharbnet.com. Enquiries may also be addressed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.