Massive Vincy Day U.S.A. on Saturday

Some members of Vincy Day U.S.A. Committee pose with Vincentian flag in background. From left, Jofford Sutherland, Desmarie Greenaway, Rosalind Goodluck, Celia Ross-Latham, Camille English-Darling and Colin Liverpool.
Photo by Nelson A. King

Thousands of Vincentians and friends are expected to trek on Saturday, Aug. 15 to Heckscher State Park in Long Island for what is expected to be a massive Vincy Day unity picnic.

Organizers said they are anticipating at least 10,000 people to converge on the picturesque park’s campground, about an hour’s drive from Brooklyn, for the all-day spectacle, dubbed Vincy Day U.S.A.

“The crowd is going to be extraordinary,” Camille English-Darling, the secretary of Vincy Day U.S.A. Committee, told Caribbean Life during a food sale last Saturday, at David’s Bakery on Avenue H in Brooklyn, to help defray expenditures of hosting the fourth annual event.

About 7,000 nationals attended last year’s event, English-Darling said.

“We’ve created a website and are getting a lot of hits,” she added, identifying the website as vincydayusa.com. “We’ve had people calling from Canada and Florida. We have buses coming from Boston and Pennsylvania. In addition, there’s a whole lot of word-of- mouth.”

While most people will travel by car, English-Darling said a number of buses – at least nine from Brooklyn – will transport nationals to Heckscher State Park.

She said car permits must be purchased in advance for US$5.00 each, plus US$10.00 for New York State entry fee. She said all vehicles with over 15 seats require permit in advance.

New York Counsel General Selmon Walters, chair of Vincy Day U.S.A., predicted that this year’s event will cost the group over US$25,000.

“We are open to any individual or business who may wish to be a sponsor and be part of the event,” he said in a statement. “If you wish to, please contact any committee member.

Additionally, I want to thank all our volunteers who have agreed to help make the event a success,” Walters added. “As you see, this is a large crowd, and we need hands on board to get things done. If you wish to be a volunteer next year, please leave your contact information at the committee’s tent in the Information area.

“Finally, welcome once again to Vincy Day,” he continued. “Please enjoy the event. I would urge that you follow the park rules so that no one will be evicted. Let our conduct be exemplary. Remember, it is a day of love and sharing.”

Picnic-goers are expected to bring and prepare a host of mouth-watering local delicacies and drinks, such as pelau, breakfuit and salftish, doughboy, bakes, blackfish, mauby and sorrel beer, as well as barbecue chicken and pork.

Several local gospel, soca and calypso artistes are also in line to take center stage.

In addition, there will be sporting activities, including netball, soccer (football), track & field, and cricket.

The newly formed St. Vincent and the Grenadines – United States of America Sports Association (SVG-USASA) will be coordinating sporting events for the day.

According to Stella Boyea-Ashby, former perennial national netball captain and an executive member of the group, trophies will be awarded to the winners in the following sporting disciplines, with Brooklyn-based sponsors: 1. Netball (Standard Caribbean Shipping); 2. Soccer (KBB Shipping, Inc.); 3. Cricket (McMillan Plumbing & Heating); and 4. Track & Field (Standard Shippers).

Vincy Day U.S.A.’s Executive Committee comprises: Walters – chair; Colin Liverpool – vice chair; Rosalind Goodluck – treasurer; Jennifer Cordice – asst. treasurer; English-Darling – secretary; Desmarie Greenaway – asst. secretary; Ulric “Soca’ Jones, Jr. – public relations officer; and Franklyn “Supadex” Richards – asst. public relations officer.

Committee chairs are: Laverne McDowald-Thompson – transportation; O’Brien Simmonds – cleaning; Cordice – children activities; Goodluck – t-shirts/car permits; Liverpool – sponsorship; English-Darling – scholarship/rentals; and Richards – website.

Jofford Sutherland, Celia Ross-Latham, Justin Miller, Ainsley Primus, Floretta Johnson and Chandelle DeRiggs are committee members.

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