Hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the end of Caribbean Heritage Month at Brooklyn Borough Hall on June 29. The indoor and outdoor festival turned the building’s vestibule and Columbus Park Plaza into a hub honoring Caribbean culture for a day-long event, featuring segments of island cuisine, a symposium and musical concert.
Several attendees stumbled onto the event as passersby but could not miss the chance to indulge in the plentiful food dishes that were served at A Taste of Caribbean Cuisine, said one local woman.
“I didn’t even know about the event but it was really good and the food was so delicious,” said Amoicee Flatts, who spent two hours participating in activities with friends.
Vendors served a variety of dishes including rice and peas, jerk chicken, fried green plantains served with different condiments, and even eggs with a Caribbean twist, added Flatts.
“I actually liked this one restaurant that was serving plantains and curry eggs — I never had that before,” she said. “It was boiled and similar to deviled eggs, but it had a curry taste to it.”
Other guests came to lend a helping hand for food vendors and also got to grab some bites of the food, said one man.
“I was one of the volunteers so I was able to taste some of the food, and I really liked the jerk chicken because it was spicy but not too spicy,” said Jerry Kansis.
Kansis, who is of Ghanaian descent, said he enjoyed the ambiance and camaraderie of the event and seeing different cultures come together as one, even though he is not Caribbean. He added that one of the highlights of the event for him was getting to discuss the similarities between cultures.
“It was so beautiful and significant to what Caribbean Americans have contributed to society. I love to engage with the Diaspora because I get to be with my long lost brothers and sisters,” he said.
“I met a couple from Jamaica and we were talking about the similarities of our food and culture and that’s what I really like to experience.”
Every year since 2006, when June was designated as Caribbean American Heritage Month, the Caribbean American Heritage Committee hosts a celebration of Caribbean culture at the Brooklyn Borough Hall with Borough President Eric Adams.
And despite not knowing about the event initially, Flatts said she will be marking her calendar for next year and hopes to bring her child.
“This was first time finding out about it, but I’m definitely coming next year and I’m going to bring my daughter with me,” she said.