THE Vodafone Bula Festival is the only festival that has been held every year without any interruption since its humble beginning 53 years ago.
Addressing the crowd that gathered to witness the crowning on Saturday night at Nadi's Prince Charles, Vodafone's commerce and corporate affairs head Shailendra Prasad said the company was privileged to sponsor the festival.
"Vodafone has been a proud sponsor of this longest running municipal festival since 2001," he said.
"In fact the past and previous committee, together with the people of Nadi, must all be proud that this is the only festival that has been held every year without any interruption for the past 53 years.
"The achievement is more significant given the floods and the cyclone in the last few years that had virtually brought the town down to its knees.
"Your never say die attitude is an attribute and lesson to the whole of Fiji where you have shown that life must go on despite all adversities."
Mr Prasad said Vodafone had some reservations initially to become sponsors because of some common concerns about governance and accountability aspects of the festival.
He thanked the committee members and contestants for their tireless effort.
"It is not always easy to be a leader in the community no matter how genuine your intentions are, people always have their doubts.
"However, that should never deter you from doing good for the community.
"This festival is a success as it promotes and breeds respect, mutual trust and understanding through the various cultures events and at the same time raise the much needed funds for some worthy projects to benefit the Nadi people," he added.