Large crowds of people lined the streets and packed Bayswater Park for the 3rdAnnual Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways hosted by Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway), held on Saturday, August 17, 2019. There were parade floats, costumed masqueraders, calypso, reggae and soca music, traditional foods, clothing and crafts and much more.
“We are proud to bring this spectacular celebration to the community for a third year,” Sanders said. “If there ever was a time when we needed unity between all communities, that time is now. My team along with residents, leaders and multiple organizations worked hand in glove to make this amazing day possible. We are glad to be here. We are going to have some fun. Today 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 Beach 20th Street and Seagirt Boulevard and culminated with live performances at Bayswater Park. There were also plenty of merchants selling the food of the islands as well as cool drinks and sweet treats.
Senator Sanders was joined at the carnival by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, Councilman Donovan Richards, Councilman Brad Lander, City Councilwoman Farah Louis and recent Queens DA candidate Tiffany Caban.
The goal of the Carnival is to celebrate the various arts & culture of the Caribbean while highlighting the hidden jewel that is the Rockaways. It also helps stimulate economic development for the community with attendees patronizing local merchants.
Dozens of civic groups and masqueraders walked the parade route, dancing, singing and waving the flags of the many Caribbean countries. When the parade portion concluded at the park, dozens of performers took the stage including Anslem Douglas, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Bigga Haitian, Dre Q, Fasol Band, KBD East Coast, Foundation Band, HeidiBe, Indika Rocks, Billyboy The Jamaican Cowboy, and many more.
Senator Sanders would like to extend a special thank you to all of the community-based organizations and volunteers who participated, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corp., NYC Parks Dept., FDNY, NYPD, EMS, Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways Committee, Tri-Med, Lions Club, Rock Safe Streets, Child Center of NY, Midday Medley 93.5 FM, St. John's Episcopal Hospital, The Wave newspaper and NYADI The College of Automotive and Diesel Technology.