Finally It’s Here! — Rockaway’s 1st Annual Caribbean Carnival!

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The clock is ticking folks! With just two days away, get ready to wine up for the ultimate tropical lineup as Rockaway heats up with it’s first annual spectacular Caribbean Carnival, presented by Senator James Sanders, Jr. and his hard-working team in collaboration with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) and NYC Parks Department, this Saturday, August 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Whether you are a parader or spectator, prepare to feast on the ultimate ‘Caribbean style’ street dance party that will go down in Rockaway’s history books, especially as the officially dubbed, “Calypso King of the World,” The Mighty Sparrow, is the headline performer, crooning his sweet calypso tunes.

All are welcome to check out this colorful fiesta. Even Rockaway’s Mermaid Brigade, who host September’s Poseidon’s Parade, will also be joining in the festivities with their own section in the parade.

It’s not too late to purchase your feather-adorned costume (for both men and women), designed by Paul Singh, a premier Carnival costume designer, hailing from Trinidad, who shares his artistry at carnivals worldwide from Trinidad to Canada to Miami and everywhere in between.

If you are too shy to wear Singh’s body-bearing, alluring costumes, you can rent a colorfully-adorned feather headpiece.

The Mighty Sparrow isn’t the only act livening up the party. The Carnival will also feature performances by Billy Bob The Jamaican Cowboy; soca chutney artist, Sassy; USA Soca Monarch finalist, Mr. Pearly; double dutch team, Stans Pepper Steppers; Far Rockaway dance group, Destructive Divas; and Perfection Dance Center’s, Rockaway Volcanos.

Rockaway’s Caribbean Carnival Parade route starts from Mott Avenue and Beach 20th Street and continues to Seagirt Boulevard ending at Beach 17th amphitheater in the park. There will be local youth performances, entertainment and cultural activities. Everyone will have the opportunity to participate in the festivities by also patronizing various vendors such as Beach 20th concession, Dred Surfer Grill and Edgemere Food Fair, who both assisted in the planning of the event.

According to Lisa George, Rockaway’s infamous zumba queen and constituent liaison at Senator Sander’s office, arrive early.  “This event is going to be packed with folks ready for the ultimate Caribbean street dance party in Rockaway.

“This carnival is extremely special to me and I'm happy to have been given the opportunity to plan this from the inception for Senator Sanders. I am of Caribbean descent, being born in Puerto Rico and having a mother from Antigua. I grew up listening to Caribbean music and living in a Caribbean household. Rockaway is a beautiful part of Queens where I've grown up, and what a better place to have a carnival off the ocean to highlight Rockaway’s beauty and unique environment. And we are so thankful for all the performers who are coming out, donating their time to make this a momentous day in Rockaway,” George said.

Senator Sanders encourages everyone from all parts of the peninsula and Broad Channel to come out and celebrate Caribbean people’s contribution to the Rockaway community. “Caribbean people work hard and also play mas (Carnival) hard, and on August 19, we are going to celebrate their culture and contribution to the Rockaway community. Instead of building walls, we are building bridges for folks across the peninsula to learn and celebrate their Caribbean neighbors.” Sanders said.

Costumes are available for purchase or rent through ENJ productions. For information about costumes and participating in the parade, call 347-623-1264. For vending information, call 646-463-3271. And for all other general information call 718-327-7017.

“On this one day only, everybody in Rockaway will be Caribbean, so get ready and start channeling your inner islander now. And to have Calypso King of the World, The Mighty Sparrow, as the headline performer, strategically places Rockaway's first annual Caribbean Carnival on the map! This Saturday, August 19, come out, make friends and play mas!” Sanders said.

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