Preparations for the 21st annual Lamu Cultural Festival are in top gear with organizers projecting it to be the biggest of all compared to the previous ones.
The festival showcases typically the rich cultural heritage of Lamu and has over the years been a major tourist attraction both locally and internationally.
Lamu Governor Issa Timammy said the fete is set to be held from November 30 to December 2 and revealed that they are expecting it to be successful.
In an interview with Journalists in Malindi the Governor said since his reelection they had the Cultural festival last year which was successful but expected this year will be better.
He said this year there will be an additional activity including beach football since about three Lamu youths are in the Kenya beach national football team and want to use that to build more talents.
“We recently concluded the Kiwayuu Dhow race and for the first time we showcased beach football, we saw there was a lot of enthusiasm and follow-up by members of the public so that will be an addition,” he said.
He said they also plan to have a peculiar triathlon competition that will include swimming, running and donkey riding.
Timammy said there will also be much more activities including the splendour of the culture, the Lamu Cuisine and the unique atmosphere of the Lamu Archipelago.
“I am Inviting all Kenyans and also non-Kenyans to come and join us during these three days of the Lamu Cultural Festival,” he said.
The Governor said since the last Lamu annual Cultural festival tourism has been booming in Lamu both locally and internationally.
Since then, flights from Nairobi to Lamu are usually full especially over the weekend such that anyone wishing to travel has to book early not to miss a flight.
Currently, he said they have revived the brand of Lamu as an Island of festivals and this month there will be the Yoga festival, and Maulid festival in October followed by the Lamu Cultural festival.
“In August he said they had Kiiwayu dhow race so we are living by our name that Lamu is an Island of festival,” he said.
The Chairman of the Lamu Cultural Festival Ghalib Alwy popularly known as Bush thanked the Governor for branding Lamu as an Island of festivals which has become so popular and contributed highly to the tourism promotion of the county attracting a majority of local tourists.
He said locals have benefited a lot from the festivals as even those small businesses generate income during the events.
Alwy said the Kiiwayu festival really added value to the Island during the festival held two weeks ago and improved the tourism placing the county in the global map as a key tourism destination.
“We are proud to get a tourism and Culture CEC member Aisha Miraj who is at the forefront of supporting tourism-related businesses and we hope she will not tire and shall continue with that effort so as to uplift the tourism sector in the county,” he said.
The CEC Member for Tourism, Trade, Investment and Culture Aisha Miraj said since she got into office, she has strived to package the brand Lamu as an Island of festival.
She said this year she has organized 8 festivals including the Shella Hat Festival in February, the Sea Food Cuisine Festival, Kiiwayuu Festival and now there will be other festivals lined up with the climax being the Annual Lamu Cultural Festival.