The South Jersey Caribbean Cultural and Development Organization (SJCCDO) says that the South Jersey Caribbean Festival will return this Saturday, July 17, to the Camden Waterfront, with the 2021 International Soca Monarch and King “Farmer Nappy” headlining the six-hour extravaganza.
There was no festival last year because it was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kylla Herbert, SJCCDO president and festival coordinator, told Caribbean Life that patrons will on Saturday “experience the flavors and vibrant colors of the Caribbean,” and that “there will be delicious Caribbean foods, like jerk chicken, oxtail, curry shrimp, roti, empanadas and more” available.
“The 21st Annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival is the premiere cultural event that brings Caribbean culture, dance, food, and a live concert to the South Jersey and Philadelphia region,” said Herbert, whose late father Nkem Tshombe, the founder of the festival, was a native of Nevis, part of the twin-island federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“This free, multi-cultural family festival will have children’s activities, community information, health resources and giveaways,” she added. “Medical professionals will be on site to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, (with) no advance registration required.”
Herbert said Trinidadian Farmer Nappy is celebrating over 30 years in the soca music industry and has a rich legacy as one of soca’s top entertainers of all time.
Nappy first started building his repertoire as an instrumentalist and songwriter with the band Xtatik, where he formed a “brotherly bond” with lead singer Machel Montano.
He earned the “Calypso of the Year” award for his blockbuster groovy soca hit “Big People Party.”
Nappy was voted as MTV Iggy’s “Artist of the Week” in March 2012.
“At the festival, Farmer Nappy will give an energetic performance singing hits ‘Back Yard Jam’, ‘Hookin Meh’, ‘My House’ and more,” Herbert said.
Besides soca and calypso, Herbert said steel pan, reggae, salsa and merengue music will also be featured at the festival, which takes place at Wiggins Park, on the Camden, NJ Waterfront, next to Adventure Aquarium, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
In addition, she said there will be performances, among others, from Camden’s own African Dance and Drum Ensemble; the Philadelphia Pan Stars Steel Orchestra (Trinidad and Tobago); Bodoma Garifuna Cultural Youth Band (Belize/Honduras); Latin band, LA Orchestra 95 (Puerto Rico); and Caribbean Carnival Masquerade Mini Parade by Shortmus Productions (St Vincent and the Grenadines).
“In preparation for this year’s South Jersey Caribbean Festival, we are following New Jersey state guidelines to ensure we have a safe, fun experience in the park,” Herbert said. “Wiggins Park is spacious, which will allow people to space out and enjoy a day of Caribbean food and culture.
“Since many people are not able to travel to their favorite Caribbean destinations, we are bringing the Caribbean to them,” she added.
The SJCCDO is sponsored in part by the Camden County Parks and Cultural Commission.