Throngs of Caribbean-Americans and friends showed up on a recent blue-skied, sunny Saturday on June 18 for the second annual Long Island Caribbean–American International Festival (LICAIF) at the beautiful, landscaped Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New York.
Organized by Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Earl Lyn, Jr., head of the Jamaica Cultural Alliance, the festival is expected to become an annual feature during Caribbean American Heritage Month celebrations.
The vast crowd was treated to a day of family–oriented events that featured a wide array of music, arts and crafts, food and displays representing the nations of the Caribbean, and the opportunity to share Caribbean culture with the rest of the Long Island community.
“We are most pleased and delighted to join with the Long Island Caribbean –American International Festival Committee and the Jamaica Cultural Alliance to once again celebrate the many cultures of the Caribbean,’ said Lyn.
“Long Island looks forward annually to the celebration of this wonderful event,” said County Executive Mangano at the opening ceremonies.
“All Caribbean nationals, not only on Long Island but across the country should always proudly celebrate their glorious and rich heritage, and should be proud of the fact that the Caribbean was not just given one day or a week, but a whole month of celebrations of our heritage in this great USA.
“This is something we should be extremely proud of. I am thrilled that I can contribute my part to this wonderful annual festival. Your continued support is most appreciated for its ongoing success.”
The festival included an awards presentation by Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano honoring outstanding Caribbean-Americans who have exemplified themselves in their respective communities.
Honorees included: Anthony Turner, Gil Bailey, Peter Francis, Caribbean Style TV; Bobby Clarke, CEO of Ire Jam Media; Bob Fredricks, host of WEE FM Radio; Douglas Mayers, president Nassau County Branch of the NAACP; Patrick Payne, professor at Adelphi University; Roy Walters, Irie Jam Radio; WIADCA CEO Yolanda Lezama-Clarke, and executive director Briding Newell.
The county executive was presented with the “True Friend of the Caribbean Award” by festival producer Earl Lyn, Jr. for his support of the festival.