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Seher il-Punent 2011
The Gharb Local Council will be organising the fifth edition of Seher il-Punent Festival of arts, crafts, culture, history and music between the 1st and 3rd April, 2011.
Once again the festival will be held in the core areas of the locality which areas are bound with folkloristic aspects and traditional elements. The Gharb Local Council included the Seher il-Punent Festival in its annual calendar of events aiming at attracting visitors towards the island of Gozo thus contributing in promoting the treasures and increasing the commercial activities during the lean winter months.

This year’s program will once again be opened by a traditional dinner organised by Tal-Qiegha Folk Foundation at the Gharb Main square with the collaboration of Local Committees, surrounded by folkloristic elements. Entertainment during the evening will be provided by Tal-Qiegha Folk Group and Spiru Sillato Band. Special dishes being served will include Widow’s soup, home-made ravioli, choice between traditionally baked Pork/Chicken/Fish & potatoes, local sweets and a glass of wine or other drink.

Saturday’s evening will be opened by Ghaqda Dilettanti tal-Karnival followed by performances by Local Talents. For the 2nd running year the Council will also be organising the Tug of War Competition with the participation of Maltese and Italian groups.

To the joy of the Seher il-Punent visitors during the evening the Council will be hosting as Special Guests the popular Maltese cast from Deceduti. Their performance during Seher il-Punent Festival will be their first appearance in Gozo where they will be animating the visitors throughout the evening and also meeting their fans. This second evening will then be closed by a live concert by popular singer Freddie Portelli.

Activities on Sunday morning will be kicked off at 9.15am with a re-enactment of a Traditional Maltese Wedding followed by an exhibition and tasting of typical products including Italian and Local Cheese, fruit and wine tables. The folk entertainment will be provided by the Aurora Folk Group. A special attraction during the matinee’ will include the live creation and exhibition of the largest Gbejna ever done in the Maltese Islands and tasting of last year’s 35kg Gbejna.

Motorcycles enthusiasts will be for the 2nd consecutive year holding a get together at the Gharb Square.

At 12pm a marathon of various dancing companies from all over Malta will be kicked off giving a show till late in the afternoon.

Sunday evening will include the participation of young local singers followed by a live concert – Back to the Oldies – 60’s, 70’s and 80’s by Mark Spiteri Lucas band with the participation of various popular singers including J. Anvil, Eleanor Cassar, Ludvig Galea, Fabrizio and Claudia Faniello.

This program will also include the final session of the Tug of War Competition. The evening will be closed off by a performance of the Malta Song Festival winner Glen Vella.

During all days of the festival there will also be:

Kid’s Area with animators

Food and beverage stalls

Arts & Crafts Exhibition by Wistin Camilleri, School of Fine Arts

Cultural Walking Tours (Booking is required by calling the Gharb Local Council). Meeting point near Il-Qiegha in Church Street at 10.00am.

Re-Enactment of Il-Qiegha by Tal-Qiegha Folk Group on Saturday and Sunday Morning.

Special Accommodation will be offered by: Ta’ Frenc Real Estate for the long weekend with a special weekend break €12.36 per person per night sharing apartment of 4. Limited apartments available.

The Gharb Local Council would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretariat for Consumers, Fair Competition, Local Council and Public Dialogue, Ministry for Gozo, Malta Tourism Authority and all the sponsors for their help towards this festival.

More information about Seher il-Punent Festival and /or bookings for the traditional dinner being held on Friday 1st April, kindly contact the Gharb Local Council on 21560556 / 7949 2667 or email on gharb.lc@gov.mt
The village of Għarb in Gozo is the local winner of the 5th edition of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) Award. The Award, which is co-funded by the European Commission and the Malta Tourism Authority aims to promote sustainable tourism models in Europe while drawing attention to the values, diversity and common features of European destinations. The project focuses on emerging destinations which manage their tourism in a sustainable way.
The Award is based on a theme which is unique to every edition with each country managing the selection process to choose the best destination. The theme for this year was “Regeneration of Physical Sites”, targeting localities which have regenerated a physical site and transformed it into a tourism attraction. The Award is essentially an achievement gained for the efforts made by destinations to offer a sustainable and innovative tourism product, encouraging localities to implement projects which form part of a larger regeneration plan.

Locally, a total of 10 applications were received, with Għarb making it to the first place. Għarb Local Council presented “Wied il-Mielah” as their regeneration project. The project, which started in 2006, sought to transform the valley from a neglected area to an ecological and sustainable tourism site. The project was divided into 2 phases. Phase 1 aimed to restore the valley to its natural state and mainly involved the reconstruction of rubble walls and major cleaning works, while phase 2 was focused on giving the area a tourist dimension. The project included the installation of long-range binoculars, interactive tourist information kiosks, Wi-fi connectivity, and the installation of fixed stairs to enable access to the sea . Other activities included landscaping, the resurfacing of the valley road, the building of bridges and dams, the creation of a country walk and the production of marketing material. The Local Council is planning other activities to further develop sustainable tourism in the locality. Further information on Wied il-Mielaħ can be found on http://wiedilmielah.gharbnet.com.

The localities of Zurrieq, Nadur, Santa Venera and Zejtun have also been recognised for their efforts in developing sustainable tourism projects involving regeneration of sites. Għarb will have the opportunity to participate in the EDEN Network together with other European destinations and the previous local winners Mellieha, Nadur, Santa Lucija (Gozo) and Isla.
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