PARROT HEADS FLOCKING TO SAINT BARTH
Can it really be 10 years since the last gathering of parrot heads—alias Jimmy Buffett fans—on the island? Yep, it was back in 1999 for the 50th anniversary of Le Select, the oldest bar in Saint Barth, for anyone who might now know. And here we are in 2009, ten years later, and the 60th anniversary is upon us. Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band are once again the main attraction, other than the bar itself and its owner Marius Stakelborough, the patriarch of Gustavia, who was born in 1923. In hopes of starting an annual music festival in Saint Barth in early November, to help stretch the tourist season, the local tourist office got into the game this time to financially support and promote Jimmy’s concert on the dock, which is taking place on Saturday, November 7. Hotel rooms and villas are booked pretty solid for that weekend, and getting to and from the island may not be too easy, although the local ferry companies and some charter boats know a good thing when they see one, and have added special shuttles to and from Gustavia. I think Jimmy’s original intention was to strum a few songs solo in the garden snack bar, Cheeseburger In Paradise at Le Select (which was named after his song and not vice versa), but the villa rental agencies started announcing a concert on the dock before it was a fait accompli and word spread like wildfire. So now the concert will be the acme of the weekend (see entire schedule below), which is really in honor of Marius, a man who has hundreds, if not thousands, of friends around the world. He has been active in the island’s Swedish friendship activities, and in fact, high school students in Sweden have made one of the two films about Marius that will be screened as part of the festivities. Isabelle Fauchet Collier, whose uncle, Patrick Kawamura is a teacher on the island as well as territorial council member, made the other film. He is also married to one of Marius’ daughters, making Marius a grandfather figure in Isabelle’s life, so she has had many years to ponder her subject. From the rum punches, steel bands and other live music at Le Select to movie screenings and of course the Jimmy Buffett concert, it looks like the weekend of November 6-8 will be quite an event, as long as it doesn’t turn into Woodstock-on-the-Dock! On Monday, November 9 after Gustavia returns to some sense of sanity, Marius is inviting everyone to see his new little museum close to his house (over near Shell Beach). The numerous items there chronicle a life spent on the island, from his childhood when there were no cars, no electricity or running water, to today, when Saint Barth is…. well, Saint Barth!
More to come,