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February 21, 2006
  • Carnival in Santo Domingo
  • Dominicans in the billboards
  • Cruiseships in Samana
  • DR makes No. 1 in Cigar Aficionado list
Carnival in Santo Domingo
In Santo Domingo, the focal point of the event is an eclectic Carnival parade down the Malecon featuring the Carnival King who is elected yearly. In the capital city, as in many other urban centers, social clubs hold dances that are often extravaganzas for showing off their costumes. During such events, highly organized dance groups, known as “comparsas,” present shows based on a particular theme and which not only compete for local prizes but for national ones as they “battle” against the best from other areas.
An estimated 50,000 people are expected to parade, with up to half a million spectators lined up along the Malecon. The Sunday, 5 March 2006 parade will be televised.
The Ministry of Culture took on the reorganization of the Carnival in 2005. As a result, participation in the Malecon Carnival parade is limited to 150 per province. The winners of the local Carnival events are chosen to represent them in the capital city carnival parade. The registration for carnival is open in the city government halls in the provinces. This year there will be 28 awards categories. See http://www.dr1.com/travelnews/archive/2006/Carnival.shtml for more on Carnival celebrations nationwide.
Dominicans in the billboards
Dominican artists have done well, receiving 16 nominations for the 2006 Latin Music Billboard awards. The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular albums, songs and performers in Latin music, as determined by the actual sales and radio airplay data that informs Billboard’s weekly charts during a one-year period ending with the 4 February issue of the magazine. The event is scheduled for 24 April at Miami's Ritz-Carlton South Beach.
Artists are honored in 51 categories representing pop, tropical, regional Mexican, reggaeton and hip-hop. The top labels, tours and publishing companies are also honored. This year's list of finalists incorporates new awards recognizing the reggaeton song and the Latin ringtone of the year.
Dominicans are up for the:
* Tropical Album Of The Year, Male: "Ironia" Andy Andy (Wepa/Urban Box Office)
* Tropical Album Of The Year, Female: "MQ" Milly Quezada (J&N/Sony BMG Norte)
* Tropical Album Of The Year, Duo Or Group: "God’s Project" Aventura (Premium Latin/Sony BMG Norte)
* Tropical Album Of The Year, New Artist: "Ironia" Andy Andy (Wepa/Urban Box Office), "Mas Grande Que El" Elvis Martinez (Univision/UG)
* Tropical Airplay Song Of The Year, Male: "Que Ironia" Andy Andy (Wepa/Urban Box Office), "Para Ti" Juan Luis Guerra (Venemusic/Universal Latino), "Resistire" Tono Rosario (Universal Latino)
* Tropical Airplay Song Of The Year, Female: "Quiero Ser" Milly Quezada (J&N)
* Tropical Airplay Song Of The Year, Duo or Group: "Ella Y Yo" Aventura Featuring Don Omar (Premium Latin), "La Boda" Aventura (Premium Latin), "Hasta El Fin" Monchy & Alexandra (J&N)
* Tropical Airplay Song Of The Year, New Artist: "Lamento Boliviano" Amarfis Y La Banda De Atakke (Amarfica/J&N)
* Latin Compilation Album Of The Year: "Mas Flow 2" Luny Tunes & Baby Ranks (Mas Flow/Machete)
* Producer Of The Year: Luny Tunes
* Tropical Airplay Label Of The Year: J&N
Cruiseships in Samana
Bahia Cruise Service, a new company that seeks to attract cruise lines to the DR, has announced the successful start of arrivals of Mediterranean Shipping Company’s Opera to Cayo Levantado on Thursdays. The company’s Lirica ship will make occasional visits to the Samana port area. Bahia Cruise Service expects to bring 33 cruise ship visits to Samana this winter season, or 60,000 tourists in the first year. The cruise ships are docking at a point that is equidistant between Cayo Levantado and Samana.
DR makes No. 1 in Cigar Aficionado list
Cigars from the Dominican Republic have made eight of the top 25 places in the Cigar Aficionado magazine’s February Top 25 cigar list. The rankings included No. 1 that this year went to Santiago-produced Fuente Opus X Double Corona.
To compile the selection, the editors of the magazine spent days reviewing hundreds of cigars produced in 2005. Judging is based on consistency, price, tastings, availability and production.
The DR attained eight of the Top 25. Cuba was next with seven cigars, followed by Honduras.
In addition to Fuente Opus X, other cigars listed were Aurora Preferidos Connecticut No. 1 (#6), La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel (#7), Fuente’s Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Corona Gorda (#8), Bolivar Churchill (#11), the Arturo Fuente Best-Seller (#12), Zino Platinum Sceptor Series Chubby Tubos (#21) and Macanudo Hyde Park Cafe (#23).
Fuente cigars are hand-rolled in the Dominican Republic and are sold mainly through the Fuente-Newman offices in Tampa, Florida. Hitting a 95 rating share, the Opus X is crafted by a small roomful of workers making only 75 hand-rolled cigars a day. According to the Cigar Aficionado review, "the cigar is the pinnacle of full flavor" and sells for $14.50 nationwide. The production for 2005 was 65,000 and for this cigar demand far exceeds supply.

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