Caribfest to begin this month

Danielle Dowe, biology senior, at the Caribfest parade on Oct. 4, 2016. Photo by Izziel Latour

The Caribbean Students Organization gave attendees a taste of what to expect for its upcoming annual Caribfest activities. The official launch of the festival took place on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Comanche Suites. The annual event is entering its 20th anniversary on this campus.

The event featured a mixture of Caribbean music, dance, modeling of costumes and the launch of the Mr. and Ms. Caribfest contestants. Although the pageant is a part of the annual activities, this year will be the first time males will be included.

Head organizer and pre-med sophomore Charlene Hood said this year they hope to get more non-Caribbean people involved, making great strides to market themselves to different groups in the Wichita Falls community.

“A lot of persons in Wichita Falls still don’t know about CSO or have not the slightest idea of Caribbean culture. From our logo design to our parade troupes, they all have been carefully designed to appeal to everyone,” Hood said. “Our aim is not to ‘outdo’ or ‘outshine’ anything that was done in the previous years, but more so to tighten up any loose ends and build on this great event that was started 20 years ago. Hopefully, five years from now, the word about Caribfest will be spread all throughout the world.”

The three-day event consist of a mixture of music, Caribbean cuisine and costumes, concluding with a soca show, parade and glow fete. While the event mainly consists of Caribbean people, participation from those not from the Caribbean is encouraged and welcomed.

“This year, expect to see a diversified crowd. Yes, it’s put on by Caribbean people, but our events are open to persons of every creed, color and race. We have reached out to groups in and out of school, out of Wichita Falls and even outside of Texas,” Hood said.

The event is the largest fundraising event spearheaded by CSO and is funded mainly by food sales, the selling of Caribfest T-shirt packages and donations from businesses in the community.

Treasurer of CSO and accounting senior Akeem Shaw said Caribfest is all about giving the Wichita Falls community a taste of the islands.

“Through our festival, we are able to offer the community a taste of Caribbean culture, island mass, different foods, dances and simply put, just a taste of our culture,” Shaw said.

This year’s Caribfest will be one for the books, according to co-organizer and mechanical engineering junior Grantley Samuels.

“People can expect the showcase of rich culture, good food and quality entertainment. It will be 20 years of Caribfest and the organization, along with MSU, is planning to make it a special one.”

Below is a full schedule of events:

  • Sept. 28 – Mr. and Ms. Caribfest show (Akin Auditorium – 7:30 p.m)
  • Sept. 29 – Soca Show (Wichita Falls Museum of Art – 7 p.m)
  • Sept. 30 – Parade Day and Culture show (MSU Campus-1:30 p.m), Glow Fete (Comanche Suites – 10 p.m)

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