The View
from Here:
  Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline, and when she's not organizing the St. Barthelemy film festival, or supervising the local volleyball league, or writing for various magazines, she turns her sharp eye upon local happenings.
  The holiday season finally got underway the first weekend in August when Larry Gray, our local pyro-maniac or fireworks expert, finally got a chance to show off his stuff in the skies over Lorient beach, after two false starts earlier in the summer.
   For reasons too complicated to explain here, the fireworks on Bastille Day were cancelled (a lot of people are still wondering why St Barth would cancel a national holiday...), as were the fireworks for the neighborhood fair on Flamands Beach the last weekend in July, due to rain and wind. But not to fear, they have been rescheduled for later in the month, so Larry won't end up with a lot of unused fire crackers on his hands. In fact, he'll be back on August 18 for the festivities in Gustavia, he'll make another appearance on the 24th for the island's patron saint day (Saint Barthelemy, of course!), and as they say in French "never two without three," a third aerial display is scheduled for August 25 in the village of Corossol as they celebrate their own patron saint, Saint Louis.
   So August promises to be a pretty explosive month, not only in terms of pyrotechnics, but also in terms of music. Lots of these local events bring in Caribbean musicians from neighboring islands, and this year's roster began last weekend in Lorient when 'Nuff Respect (something you don't always get around here), a band from St Martin, keep the crowds dancing until well after two in the morning. Coming up are Kali, a dreadlocked banjo player from Martinique, and Taxi Kreol from Guadeloupe on the dock in Gustavia on the 18th, plus dances with live music, including Youth Wave from St Martin, and Caravan from Guadeloupe, on the 24th and 25th. As if this weren't enough, Boubou, St Barth's most prolific restauranteur has announced his second annual World Music Festival, from August 8-20, produced in association with his buddy, singer Yannick Noah and his group the Zam Zams (if you thought Yannick Noah was a French tennis player you get the brass ring, but watching him cavort on stage is worth the price of a drink, and he's sexy to boot....he doesn't sing too badly either). Plauged with complications during his first festival last summer (bottlenecks in the parking lot and at the bar) Boubou promises better organization this year as well as concerts in all four of his restaurants....two in Gustavia, one in Grand Cul de Sac, and one on Shell Beach.... this way all of his neighbors get a free performance or two. Whew, what a schedule for a lazy summer month.
   I used to wonder what the locals were celebrating with all these August festivities, but now I know. It's the quietest time of the year and they are celebrating the fact that they've got their island to themselves for a while, and almost every day is a holiday. So unless "Hurican," the Caribbean deity evoking evil, sends a storm our way, August should be a lot of fun!

  More to come,

  Ellen Lampert-Greaux

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