FAR ROCKAWAY - New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) brought the party to the people over the weekend with the official launch of the 2nd Annual Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways.
Crowds of people, many representing the Caribbean, gathered Saturday at the Beach 20th Street Pedestrian Plaza where some dressed in costume celebrated the coming together with Caribbean food, music and dance. Senator Sanders will play host and masquerader at the 2nd Annual Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways when marchers parade down Peninsula streets on August 25, 2018.
“Welcome to the Rockaways and welcome to the Carnival,” said Sanders who donned a black and gold-feathered headdress during the kick off and press conference. "We are going to have some fun. We are going to be celebrating all of the Rockaways, but we will be particularly highlighting the contributions of the Caribbean community in America.”
Last year’s Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways drew 5,000 people and even more are expected to participate this year. Residents and costumed masqueraders joined Sanders in a mini-march down Beach 20th Street as Caribbean music played in the background.
“At a time when President Trump is promoting his zero tolerance policy on immigration and literally tearing families apart, we are here to bring people together,” Sanders said. “We have people of different cultural backgrounds celebrating as one. We do not want to shut people out. We want to embrace the world.”
Carnival aims to celebrate Caribbean arts & culture while highlighting the hidden jewel that is the Rockaways. Senator Sanders invites people of all nationalities from all over the City and beyond to join him for this event.
The Senator is collaborating with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation (RDRC), NYC Parks Department and ENJ Productions to create a safe and family-friendly event.
The Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways will take place on Saturday, August 25, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., kicking off at Beach 59th Street and Arverne Boulevard. It will feature a parade of floats, steel pan bands, moko jumbies, and masqueraders and culminate with live performances near the beach at 94th Street.
“There will be good food, good company – come and make a friend,” Sanders said. “We are going to have a ball.”
In addition to its community partners, the Carnival is made possible through the hard work of the Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways Committee of volunteers.
For general information, to join the committee or to participate in Carnival contact Senator Sanders's office at 718-523-3069.