Eisenhower Park to host Caribbean-American International Festival

Nassau County will host the third annual Caribbean-American International Festival June 3. (Photo courtesy of Nassau County)

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the Jamaica Cultural Alliance will host its third annual Long Island Caribbean-American International Festival on June 23 at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre in Eisenhower Park.

The event, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaica and Trinidad’s independence, as well as Caribbean Heritage Month.

 

Nassau County will host the third annual Caribbean-American International Festival June 3. (Photo courtesy of Nassau County)

Nassau County will host the third annual Caribbean-American International Festival June 3. (Photo courtesy of Nassau County)

The Jamaican Cultural Alliance started the festival in 2010 to remember Earl Lyn Sr., the owner of Nakisaki restaurant in Hempstead and an active member of the Caribbean community on Long Island, who died in September 2009.

Earl Lyn Jr., head of marketing and promotion for the Long Island Caribbean-American International Festival, was contacted by Mangano in 2009 and was told the new administration wanted to show their appreciation for minority communities in the area.

“I thought it would be a good way to celebrate my dad’s life since he did so much work for the Caribbean community,” Lyn Jr. said. “We love sharing this with other people of other ethnicities.”

Caribbean food

Mangano says he hopes the community turns out to support the event. “The last two festivals were attended by thousands who came to celebrate the many cultures of the Caribbean, and I once again invite everyone to Eisenhower Park,” he said.

The free event, which is expected to have over 10,000 people in attendance, will feature Caribbean food and drink vendors as well as booths with Jamaican fashion and trinkets.

“People from very diverse Caribbean background will be there to represent the rich culture,” said Dwayne Browne, sponsorship coordinator for the festival. “It’s very important that they come together because the Caribbean is a melting pot. We have several Caribbean businesses across the country and these people may not know the owners until now.”

The festival’s music theme this year is gospel, calypso and reggae and will include live performances from the Caribbean gospel artists Hopeton Lewis, Joan Myers and The Ethiopian World Federation Chapter 27 Nyabinghi Drummers. Soca and Calypso selections by George, Ajamu and the Adlib Steel orchestra will also perform live.

“It’s a very interactive festival where everyone can come together and have a blast and network,” said Browne. “Anybody from any background or race can celebrate and find common interest in music and food.”