HOLLYWOOD — A staple of National Caribbean-American Heritage Month returns to South Florida and it vows to give you an authentic experience.

The third Colors of the Caribbean event promises a day of food, arts and culture, entertainment and “irie” vibes, organizers say.

“Colors of the Caribbean is the key thread that brings people together to celebrate the vibrant heritage of the Caribbean,” said Yvette N. Harris, secretary of the Caribbean-American Heritage Florida Inc. (CAHFI), an organizer of the event.

Caribbean-American Heritage Month was first recognized in the United States in 2006. A year later, CAHFI was founded by Asa Sealy, a Trinidadian-American and Brad Hemmings who is of Jamaican and Trinidadian descent, as an effort to promote Caribbean-Americans and their contributions to the United States. This festival showcases the different Caribbean cultures.

The event starts at 4 p.m. at Hollywood ArtsPark at Young Circle, Saturday, June 14 with a Junkanoo procession, accompanied by Moko Jumbies (stilt walkers from the Bahamas) and harmonized by the sounds of steel-pan music.

Entertainment for the day includes live performances by Midnite (U.S Virgin Islands), Wayne Wonder (Jamaica), Harmonik (Haiti), the Lauderhill Steel Ensemble (Trinidad) along with many more. Music powered by DJ Majestic (Trinidad). 

The festival,also presented by City of Hollywood, Hollywood CRA, Rhythm Foundation and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, has attracted more than 15,000 attendees over the past two years.

Al Tucker, the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB’s vice president of Multi-Cultural Business Development, said Colors of the Caribbean provides a “prime reason for our neighbors in the region to come to Hollywood, stay in a hotel and have the Caribbean experience without leaving the country.

“The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB is excited about partnership with “Colors of the Caribbean” as it speaks directly to the demographic changes that exist in Greater Fort Lauderdale and it provides the CVB with a prime opportunity to invite individuals of all ethnicities to come visit the destination and experience our colors of the Caribbean.”

Hosting the event are ABC weekend anchor Neki Mohan ( Trinidad) and NBC6 South Florida Today weekend anchor Sharon Lawson (Jamaica).

Other highlights for the day include; the Caribbean Airlines Travel Expo, YMCA Kids Activity Zone powered by the Children’s Services Council of Broward County, a Caribbean Food Village, the Verizon Wireless Corporate Village, cultural performances, arts & crafts and, for the first time in 2014, the “Going Green” Zone, which seeks to promote a greener earth. The kids’ zone, which features attractions for children ages 2-15, runs from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

“We look forward to our continued community collaboration with the City of Hollywood, Hollywood CRA and Rhythm Foundation. We are especially excited about our YMCA Kids Activity Zone and Going Green Zone that are causing quite a buzz,” said Sealy, executive director of the organization, and co-founder.


WHAT: Third Colors of the Caribbean festival

WHERE: Hollywood ArtsPark at Young Circle

WHEN: Saturday, June 14 from 4 to 11 p.m.

COST: Free

INFORMATION: Visit colorsofthecaribbean.com or follow on Twitter, Instagram @colorsofcarib and on Facebook @colorsofthecaribbean. Hash tags #Colors2014 and #ColorskidsFun