Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Bull Head Mountain Ash Wednesday Bash exposed

Published:Saturday | February 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Cecelia Campbell-Livingston photos A lady makes her way up the path to the bash.
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On Ash Wednesday, Rural Xpress 'stumbled upon' an event that has been going on for the past 25 years at the Bull Head Mountain in Clarendon.

The event, dubbed 'Ash Wednesday Bull Head Mountain Bash', has never been advertised, it doesn't have a Facebook page, there is no website set up for items, organisers have never done an interview to promote it, but each year thousands make the trek to the mountain to begin the Lenten season.

For the day, visitors enjoy music, deliciously prepared meals, and recreational activities complemented by the sweet breeze caressing their skins.

Bull Head Benevolent Society Chairman Tracy-Ann Mahoney said going public would have left them open for things they are not yet ready to handle.

"We have no electricity, no toilet facilities, visitors are left open to the elements," she said, pointing to the grounds which were only decorated by sellers' stalls and those who came prepared with the blankets spread out on the ground.

According to Mahoney, when the sound systems play there, they come with their own

generators and are usually brought there by one of the more successful sellers to help boost their sales.

"The event is free and people know about it through word of mouth," she said.

Days leading up to Ash Wednesday, residents of the community got extra income as member of parliament Horace Dalley employed them to bush the area leading up to grounds where the event was held.

"The event is kept alive by people from the community who see this as a day to enjoy themselves and earn some extra income by selling their produce," said Mahoney.

However, it is now time to talk expansion as visitors from St Catherine, St Thomas and other parts of the island have gotten a whiff of the event and some are even enjoying the cool hills, camping overnight to enjoy the day.

"Right now, we are looking to source the funds to make nature trails as we want to go into ecotourism. We would also like to put a gazebo on the grounds to shelter visitors, as well as proper toilet facilities," she told Rural Xpress.

Sharing in her dream and currently looking at ways to make it all possible is local economic development officer for Clarendon, Damion Young, who said the area is "ripe for development".

"I am enthused with what I have seen and will be looking to discussing it with the stakeholders as to how we can develop the festival into a viable and sustainable economic occasion," he said.

For Young, the event captures the imagination as a real hardcore local economic powerhouse.

rural@gleanerjm.com