Dance, fete, eat, enjoy… is a fitting mantra for Caribbean Cultural Fest. 2019 presented by Virgin Islanders United, Inc. (VIU). This exciting, annual, outdoor Caribbean mega-concert, is proudly celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The event is completely free to the public and spotlights the rich music, food, and culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. In fact, Caribbean Cultural Fest is the largest annual celebration of U.S.V.I. culture and pride in North America and is also a mecca of eastern Caribbean music, according to a release VI United issued Friday.
The event takes place on Sunday, September 1, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Jackie Robinson Park, located at 85 Bradhurst Ave. on 145th Street in Harlem NYC. Caribbean Cultural Fest. 2019 is proudly sponsored by USVI Sponsors: The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism and WSTA Radio (1340 a.m.), and NYC sponsors: Virgin Islanders United, Inc., Teddy Volkswagen, Best Deal Car Service, McCall’s Bronxwood Funeral Home, B.J.’s Wholesale Club, The Avril Show (93.5 F.M.) and Rodman and Campbell PC Attorneys at Law.
This year, Caribbean Cultural Fest will pay homage to classic calypso and hit reggae and Soca music. “We are so proud to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our signature event,” said Janet Parris, president of Virgin Islanders United, Inc. “For this year’s festival and our anniversary, naturally our event is focusing heavily on our homeland the USVI, particularly St. Croix, which is hosting the next big event for the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean, which is the Crucian Christmas Festival in December. We want all fans of great Caribbean music to come and visit our show in Harlem to get a taste of the music, food, and culture of the Caribbean and the V.I., and then immediately make plans to visit St. Croix for the Crucian Festival, and enjoy Carnival and the Christmas holidays in St. Croix.”
According to the release, Caribbean Cultural Fest prides itself on its spirit of inclusion and boasts a show with diverse line-up reflecting multiple Caribbean Nations. Additionally, the festival also features a huge vendor bazaar featuring authentic Caribbean food, drink, and wares. Event attendees are asked to come out early, and proudly bring their flags representing their respective Caribbean nation and get ready for an authentic Caribbean music experience.
Caribbean Cultural Fest. 2019 will take fans down nostalgia road and straight up hit maker avenue, presenting classic calypso, and today’s hit Soca music featuring earth shaking performances from: Caribbean Queen – 7X Calypso Queen (USVI), Legendary Calypso Icon – Explainer (Trinidad/Tobago), Ebony T (Antigua/Barbuda), Island Prince (Antigua/Barbuda), Antiguan Soca Sensation – Laurena Davis & TKO(Antigua/Barbuda), VI Soca Star –Adam O(USVI),Nikki Smith(VI), USVI Soca Songstress – Rudy Live!(USVI)), and Festival Headliners – 9X USVI Road March Champions – The Awesome Spectrum Band(USVI), plus several additional surprise music guests.
The event will be hosted by U.S.V.I. media personality, and past president and co-founder of Virgin Islanders United Inc., Kevin Hughes, and co-hosted by N.Y. Caribbean Radio Personality, and host of 93.5 FM’s “The Avril Show”, Avril Francis. This year for the first time, fans around the world will be able to view this event “live” as it will be streamed on the V.I. Consortium’s Facebook platform and website, and also broadcast “live” on radio in the U.S. Virgin Islands via WSTA radio (1340 am), and on the internet @ www.1340wsta.com.
Joseph Boschulte, USVI Department of Tourism commissioner, along with representatives from the department and other Virgin Islands officials, will be on hand at the festival actively pitching to the thousands of attendees present, that the U.S. Virgin Islands is open for business, and that St. Croix in particular is the perfect next destination to visit, according to the release.
“This show is truly a labor of love, and Caribbean Cultural Fest. 2019 has become a popular staple of the busy Labor Day Weekend in New York, where so much of the focus is on Caribbean heritage and pride,” said Kevin Hughes. “As one of the few Caribbean events taking place within the borough of Manhattan, we are proud to do our part to help positively promote Caribbean culture.”
He added, “Our show is designed to provide a showcase for world-class Caribbean acts, and to also get event attendees interested in visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands, where we warmly welcome all visitors to St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island.”
V.I.U. is a member of the USVI Department of Tourism’s Ambassador Program, which enables the Department of Tourism to partner with USVI civic and social groups based on the U.S. mainland, with regards to assisting with the promotion of the territory.
Virgin Islanders United, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is a New York-based, nonprofit, non-partisan, civic organization dedicated to representing the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to the release, VIU has been publicly recognized by elected officials from both the U.S. & the U.S.V.I. The organization has its own theme song, “Virgin Islands In Town For Labor Day,” which was written and sung by Calypso Rose, the undisputed Calypso Queen of the World. As a civic organization dedicated to the USVI, the mandate of VIU remains clear, to represent the rich culture and heritage of the USVI and the Caribbean, the release said.
Interested persons seeking vendor information for Caribbean Cultural Fest. 2019 or for information regarding membership in Virgin Islanders United Inc., may call (845) 670-7695, and like VIU on Facebook.