Cheryl DB Murphy, founder & president of the Jersey City West Indian/Caribbean Carnival Association, Inc. Committee, told Caribbean Life, that the stage is set to celebrate the festivities in a smaller scale, with in-person and virtual events, under the theme: 26 – Building Community Together.
Murphy, who is at the forefront of promoting all things culture in Jersey City, New Jersey, noted that the committee wanted to keep the tradition alive as best they could during to pandemic so as not to loose the carnival’s energy, spirit, and tradition of the revelry.
As such, the 2021 carnival season kicked off its festivities in March, and hosted monthly events to highlight its principal events of arts, culture, health, business, and fashion, in a virtual format.
The committee will continue with a titled: 2021 Carnival Week Community Meet-up on July 21, with a CARICOM Flag raising ceremony at noon, at Hudson County Plaza, New Jersey.
A Writing & Communication Skills forum will be held on July 22, 5 pm – 6 pm, for the entire family. This will be hosted via a Zoom meeting: ID# 844 1401 9854, Passcode: RUN2021.
Presenters are Laurie Peronne, Asst. Media Director/Blogger, and Poet Laureate and Rescue Poetix, Susan Justiniano. Lindsey West will serve as host.
On July 23, from 8-10 pm Keys to the Caribbean Art Land of Jab Jab Jouvert Fete, will be presented in a private setting. Streaming is available, via Meeting ID: 850 2025 6256 Passcode: jab 2021.
Presenters are, Yvette Rennie, J’Ouvert City Internatinal, Delroy King Jab Jab World Ah Jab, and Sandra A.M. Bell JouvayFest. Michael Manswell will present and host that event.
A Grand Finale Statewide Caribbean Carnival – on July 24, will showcase Rhythm, a 12-hour Grand Marshall Carnival Roaming Relay Backyard Jam. This will be held at a private location and streamed live via Meeting ID: 871 9809 9621. Password: yard2021.
Murphy said: “Last year was devastating from all levels, financial, the lack of gatherings, businesses going out of business, lack of funding, nothing was happening, and people were loosing loved ones. In my heart I needed to keep the tradition alive, that is why after the 2020 virtual events, I starting dreaming about ways to celebrate the 26th anniversary.”
Murphy who is super excited about hosting the carnival, following all COVID-19 pandemic reopening protocals, said, organizers are determined in their efforts in keeping traditional sights and sounds of carnival alive. “Cultural events, such as Jersey City carnival, help to keep our City on the map while at the same time, creating a kind of cross-cultural unity that makes us unique.”
“Every year since its founding, the carnival has had a new class of grand marshals. Once an individual becomes a grand marshal they are a part of the JC Carnival Family Fabric, they are always invited to participate in the seasonal activities year after year as well as welcomed to join the parade with the present class on carnival day,” said Murphy.
“Please join us in welcoming the Class of 2021 Grand Marshals. We honor you,” she said.
They are: Antigua’s Chef Claude Lewis, Anguilla’s Taylor Richardson, Bermuda’s Betty Thompson Azzario, Cuba’s Nurse Lazada Richardson, Dominican Republic’s Commissioner Yraida Aponte Lipski, Roberto Paulino, Garden State of New Jersey’s Robert Mitchell, Grenada’s Deroy McMillian, Guyana’s Dr. Joan Dublin, Recording Artiste Rick Ramadehal, Isle of Hudson County’s Rev. Dr. Judge Cynthia Jackson, and Tom Coughlin, Soror Ashlee Syllivan,
Others are, Cheryl & Artiste Christopher Mack, Rosario Magno, Stephenie R. Glover-Wilson, International-Africa Dr. Nelson Aluya, MD, International-Africa Isle of Jersey City’s Det. Kofi John “JayBee” Boamah, Isle of Jersey City’s CouncilmanYousef J. Saleh, Director Tawana Moody, MaryAnne Kelleher, Cheryl Kelly Lee, Geoffrey Allen, Super Model Erica L. Carrington, Frank Gilmore, Florance Baron, Lewis Spears, Tonya Keys, Tina Nalls, and Nurse Arayna Kemp.
Rounding out the list, are Jamaica’s J Brother Darryl Spence, Sonia Scott, Puerto Rico’s Det. Lorraine Mapp, PD Shaun Spence, Poet Laureate Susan Justiniano, Steven Campos, Trinidad & Tobago’s Iya Danella Abbey, Nikki Amas, Nurse Leah Clark Brisard, Designer Richie Richardson.
“Come one come all! See you on Zoom or on location for the JCWICACAI Carnival Week Community Meetups said Cheryl DB Murphy president and founder of the organizing committee.