NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 25, 2017) -- Growing public interest and creativity of entrants in the ice cream and cake contests, are among the driving forces behind the Department of Agriculture's annual Fruit Festival.

This year, the festival's 12th edition will be held at the D. R. Walwyn Plaza in the heart of Charlestown on August 04, 2017.

Eric Evelyn, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture says preparations are progressing smoothly for this year's event. The festival is known to highlight fruits on Nevis and their versatility.

For this year's ice cream competition, the base fruit ingredient must be local mangoes. Evelyn, listed some reasons why the Department selected mangoes for that contest.

"With the abundance of mangoes that we have on the island at present, we decided that that is the fruit that is the most abundant, very readily obtainable and it is something that all persons willing to take part in the ice cream competition will be able to get their hands on for free," he said.

In the case of the cake baking contest, competitors are free to incorporate any local fruit in their entries in the cheese cake, plain or light fruit and the heavy fruit categories. The use of local fruit will attract more points. 

Evelyn noted that over the years, participants in both the contests seem to be getting more and more creative.

He urged persons wishing to enter any of the competitions to register with the Department of Agriculture during normal working hours.

Speaking of the prizes, Evelyn stated that they are in the process of securing an array of attractive prizes and trophies for all participants and the ultimate winners.

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