Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Thousands Attend 1st Ever Rockaway Caribbean Carnival Hosted By Senator James Sanders'

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Thousands of people lined the streets and packed the beach for the 1st ever Rockaway Caribbean Carnival, which was hosted by State Senator James Sanders (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) and held on Saturday, August 19, 2017. There were parade floats, costumed masqueraders, steel pan bands, moko jumbies, calypso and soca music, traditional foods, clothing and crafts and much more.
“For many years, people having been toying with the idea of bringing a Caribbean Carnival to Rockaway, but we have done it,” Sanders said. “My team along with residents, leaders and multiple organizations worked hand in glove to make this amazing day possible. It is a day when we can celebrate all cultures – Caribbean and American – those from Rockaway and those from all over this great city and state. Out of many, we are one. That's the motto of Trinidad -- together we aspire, together we achieve.”

The Carnival was conducted in collaboration with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) and NYC Parks Department. It started on Mott Avenue and Beach 20th Street and continued to Seagirt Blvd ending at Beach 17th amphitheater in the park.

The parade’s grand marshal was Randolph Holder Sr., a resident of Far Rockaway and the father of slain New York City Police Officer Randolph Holder, who was killed in the line of duty and was recently honored with a street renaming. Both father and son are of Guyanese descent.

The goal of the Carnival was to celebrate the various arts & culture of the Carribean while highlighting the hidden jewel that is the Rockaways. The opening ceremony kicked off with the playing of the American National Anthem, featuring a Marine Corps Color Guard. Senator Sanders is a Marine Corps Veteran. Many civic groups and performers walked the parade route, dancing, singing and waving the flags of the many Caribbean countries.
When the parade portion concluded at the beach, dozens of performers took the stage including Billy Bob “The Jamaica Cowboy,” Sassy, and Mr. Pearly. The headliner was The Mighty Sparrow aka “The Calypso King of the World.” The Mighty Sparrow is one of the best-known and most successful calypsonians. He has won Trinidad’s Carnival Road March competition eight times, Calypso King / Monarch eight times, and the Calypso King of Kings title twice.

Senator Sanders office stated "due to the great success of our inaugural event, we plan to hold it annually."

Senator Sanders would like to extend a special thank you to: Haxel Ross, Barbara Stewart of Drive Time Media Radio, Vinn Singha of Tri-Med, Beatrice Morton of AlphaCare, Nadine Taylor of Human Care, and Hudson Gilbert Realty. West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corp., NYC Parks Dept., FDNY, NYPD, EMS, Counter Terrorism, The Tides at Arverne By the Sea, Dred Surfer Grill, El Anderson Photography, NYC Shoot A Thon, Yac Radio, Rockaway Caribbean Carnival Committee, Dicky's Barbecue Pit, Color Guard – Marines, Laurel Deckelman Photography, Civic Groups, Tru Jerk and Soul, Security CNJ Services, Lions Club, Jabar Famous Deli and Dunkin Donuts – Far Rockaway, Hometown Studios, Poser, Surette, Bon Bon, Sexy Lynn, Larday, Di Houligan, WinTV HD, MaracusNY, Lakia Echols of MakeMyMotherProud, Paul Singh and ENJ Productions,  Da Band, and Z Tolerance Protective Services, LLC.


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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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