ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

One Big Caribbean Party

Updated on September 13, 2016
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

International Travel Writer and Photographer who considers herself a global citizen, sharing the world with her readers through her travels.

A Di Caribbean Mi Come From!

People in, and from the Caribbean know how to throw a great party. Almost every island hosts an annual event celebrating its unique heritage with music, dance, food, sailing and pirates. Most island nations in the Caribbean host at least one such festival event a year, in addition to Caribbean Carnival, a tradition fused with local folklore, culture and religion.

However, what happens when "Island Folks" migrate to other countries?

Source

Heritage and Memories

The vision and mission of this Caribbean Festival held in Cocoa, Florida is to give some of the less fortunate children and families a time in which they could enjoy a free outing, one that would bring both bonds of friendships as they connect with others of similar heritage, but to also create memories to possibly last a lifetime.

Not everyone is able to travel back to their countries for their respective festivals throughout the year, so this festival gives those folks a chance to enjoy it here. It also gives others a chance to enjoy and experience a new culture, exposing them to the sights, sounds, feelings and tastes of the Caribbean culture.

Source

Blendin' In The Park!

The Caribbean Festival at Cocoa Riverfront Park featured many vendor booths and also features different types of Caribbean cuisine including Rice and Peas, Jerk Chicken, Fried Fish, Festival and traditional drinks including Sorrel, Traditional sodas, exotic drinks made from various fruits, Roti (curry chicken, or beef with potatoes wrapped in a curry flavored flour shell), Curried chicken, salads of various kinds such as conch and vegetable. Blocks of time was set aside for displays of culture such as singing, dancing, fire-dancing, Caribbean authors, storytelling which is a tradition by which the members of the Caribbean community—young and old—passes on stories and traditions of the culture by telling of personal stories and experience, legends and folklore.

Opening Ceremony

Deputy Mayor, Brenda Warner, and Councilman Mike Blake officially declare the Festival OPEN!!
Deputy Mayor, Brenda Warner, and Councilman Mike Blake officially declare the Festival OPEN!! | Source

Festival Line-Up

Source
Source
Source
Todd Reed, local caricature artist draws your portrait in 5 minutes or less!
Todd Reed, local caricature artist draws your portrait in 5 minutes or less! | Source
Vendors of different kinds helped to make the festival a success.
Vendors of different kinds helped to make the festival a success. | Source
Clothing vendors
Clothing vendors | Source
Clothing vendors
Clothing vendors | Source
Clothing vendors
Clothing vendors | Source

Music and Dancing!

Music is central to the Caribbean culture, and has been since the days of slavery, when it was a mode of mental survival and a form of recreation. If you're from the Caribbean, but living abroad, you will most likely have that favorite track of Soca or Reggae music that is played all the time, on city streets, in natives' homes and at special festivals, such as Caribbean festivals or at Carnival. Caribbean people will dance tirelessly for days.

When you see Caribbean people dancing, many times it is mistaken for being vulgar, but rather it is an energetic blending of lower-body movement, shuffle-stepping, and hip-swaying. There is a complex cultural blend to be heard in nearly every musical style found in the Caribbean. In Trinidad, Indian sounds round out the melodies of Calypso, while in Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Latin beat feeds the salsa rhythm. The vocal styles of modern rap can be heard throughout Jamaican dance halls.

Soca dance, not vulgar, but a dance form!

Caribbean dance, not vulgar!

Soca dance, not vulgar, but a dance form! This article explains why the dance form considered to be impolite, rude and bad mannered is a "natural flow of dance that goes in sync with the speech and rhythm of the place."

Music brings us together!

Friends enjoy relaxing and socializing, and enjoying family togetherness at the festival.
Friends enjoy relaxing and socializing, and enjoying family togetherness at the festival. | Source

A Few Performers

Source
Source
Source
Source

Food, Glorious Food!

"Oh my gosh! I could smell the food from way down the street. I just had to come!" exclaimed Brenda, an attendee at the festival. Caribbean food includes all of your favorites…seafood, such as conch chowder, jerked chicken, curried chicken, patties, festival and steak…prepared with the flavorful and colorful ingredients of the islands. Some popular dishes are coconut shrimp,jerk chicken pasta, chicken kabobs, ribs with guava BBQ sauce, as well as various desserts such "heavy" cakes made from sweet potato or yam and bread pudding.

Conch salad: edible food art...or comfort food?

Conch

We can't talk about delicious and distinctive Caribbean food without mentioning conch.

Conch refers to a variety of large sea snails common on many islands in the Caribbean. They are fantastic fried as a fritter, but you'll also find them in salads, soups and stews.

The conch salad that I had the opportunity to see being made, and to try later, made me drool. The different flavors of sweet pepper, onions, garlic, lemon juice helped to enhance the flavor of the conch. It is presented both as an elegant edible art form, as well as comfort food. One taste of this and you will fall in love with it!

Conch salad

Source
Source
Source
Making conch salad
Making conch salad | Source
Exotic drinks
Exotic drinks | Source
Pineapple makes great cups!
Pineapple makes great cups! | Source
Exotic drinks!
Exotic drinks! | Source
Source

Jerk Chicken

Many jerk dishes embody the flavors of the Caribbean. Jerk seasoning is typically used as a dry rub made from a hot and aromatic spices, but recipes can vary widely from chef to chef.

Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken. Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage, lamb, vegetables, and tofu. Jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: allspice, (called "pimento" in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers. Other ingredients may include cloves, cinnamon, scallions,nutmeg, thyme, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and salt.

Jerk Chicken

Source
Jerk chicken, served with steamed cabbage and rice and peas
Jerk chicken, served with steamed cabbage and rice and peas | Source

Walkerswood traditional Jamaican jerk seasoning

Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, 10 oz
Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, 10 oz

For Chicken, Pork Fish Hamburgers & Vegetables

•A Jamaican vacation for your tastebuds !!

 
Chopping up the jerk chicken
Chopping up the jerk chicken | Source

Fresh Fruit

Source

Patties

These delicious, highly seasoned, beef, chicken or vegetable baked pies are great for lunch, dinner, or a snack.
These delicious, highly seasoned, beef, chicken or vegetable baked pies are great for lunch, dinner, or a snack. | Source

LOCKS!!

Dreads flowed freely, and could be seen everywhere at the festival...from band members who identified with the Rastafarian culture to others who just loved the look and decided to have their hair locked. Some wore their "dreads" up in a high bun, either under a knitted cap or wrapped in a turban, while others let theirs flow freely. There were short locks and locks which nearly reached the floor.

So what is the fascination with dreads, locks, dreadlocks...there are so many words used...

Even though dreadlocks have been around for thousands of years, when many people think of the style, their mind goes to one person: Bob Marley. When the late singer came on the scene in the '70s, many began to associate loccs with all things Marley, which included reggae music, Jamaica, and the Rastafarian culture.

Locks, and more locks!!

Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Have you been to a Caribbean Festival?

What is your favorite part of a Caribbean Festival?

See results

Fun at the Festival

Kids enjoy a game of football on the open lawn of the Riverfront Park.
Kids enjoy a game of football on the open lawn of the Riverfront Park. | Source
Friends enjoy a fun game of hacky sack, (also known as Hackey Sack).
Friends enjoy a fun game of hacky sack, (also known as Hackey Sack). | Source
Even grown-ups enjoy playing with bubbles!
Even grown-ups enjoy playing with bubbles! | Source
Friends greet each other at the festival.
Friends greet each other at the festival. | Source
Little Nicholas enjoys a break from the water fountain, a favorite play area for kids.
Little Nicholas enjoys a break from the water fountain, a favorite play area for kids. | Source
Water fountain, a favorite play area for the children.
Water fountain, a favorite play area for the children. | Source
Quincy and Todd enjoy catching up  and sharing in the festivities.
Quincy and Todd enjoy catching up and sharing in the festivities. | Source
 Deputy Mayor of Cocoa, Brenda Warner, Councilman Mike Blake, and former Councilman Clarence Whipple enjoy the Festival, and take a break in the shade.
Deputy Mayor of Cocoa, Brenda Warner, Councilman Mike Blake, and former Councilman Clarence Whipple enjoy the Festival, and take a break in the shade. | Source

Clothing and the Culture!

Being Caribbean mean we identify with a culture that binds us together as a region. That includes identifying with a particular style of dress. Although our day to day dress may not necessarily tell of our heritage, a Caribbean Festival gives us the opportunity to be show our cultural pride through our clothing as well as the other ways mentioned....food, etc.

Cultural pride through clothing!

Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Flags Fly High!

Source
Source
Source

Fun facts about the Caribbean!

Enjoy these fun facts about the Caribbean!

Fun, despite the heat!

Guest at the festival dons her favorite Bob Marley t-shirt, while enjoying a plate of delicious Caribbean cuisine.
Guest at the festival dons her favorite Bob Marley t-shirt, while enjoying a plate of delicious Caribbean cuisine. | Source
Attendee at the festival keeps cool with a straw hat, shades and towel.
Attendee at the festival keeps cool with a straw hat, shades and towel. | Source
Snow cones and cool drinks were plentiful at the event to keep everyone hydrated.
Snow cones and cool drinks were plentiful at the event to keep everyone hydrated. | Source
Source
Water fountain, great for kids and adults alike to stay cool.
Water fountain, great for kids and adults alike to stay cool. | Source

Closing words

Brevard County’s FREE Caribbean experience for the entire family, hosting live musical bands and performers from all around the Caribbean, as well as some of the finest food prepared by leading and top chefs from around the world certainly lived up to my expectations of it being a truly unique tropical experience. As the children played in bounce houses, experienced face painting, played games, had their caricature drawn, enjoyed the water fountain and the food, while grown-ups enjoyed dancing to the music or just visiting with friends and family and so much more, it certainly proved to be a most relaxing and pleasurable event.

Highlights from Cayman Carnival/Festival 2015

© 2015 Gina Welds Hulse

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      23 months ago from london

      You are so varied, my Friend. One definitely cannot pin you down. A very free Spirit and one that reminds me of my Sister Laslyn, in Texas. She has problems herself, but is an indomitable Spirit. Our Beloved works with us in various ways.

      A very colourful and informative Hub. ThreeKeys asked me to write a poem about the Caribbean and so I wrote something for her. Including the free spirit and the carnival of course. I wrote the food down in my planning, but somehow forgot to mention it. She and Ruby should like your Hub.

      Much Peace this weekend. Love to you; Love to your children.

      P.S I have attended many carnivals. They do not choreograph the dances as I see here. They are very spontaneous and nearly always go to the extreme. Remember that they are always eating and drinking... but for some, this is not even necessary to stretch the imagination, if you know what I mean.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)