Caribfest events give back to community and Caribbean

Caribbean students pose for a picture during the Caribfest parade in front of Pierce Hall on Sept. 30. Photo by Sara Keeling

Feathered headpieces. Bedazzled bodysuits. Loud island music and dozens of bodies packed together, singing and dancing to the rhythm of the songs.

On Sept. 30, the Caribbean Students Organization organized the Caribfest Parade Day and Culture Show. The parade started from the Dillard parking lot and ended at Sunwatcher Plaza.

Grantley Samuels, mechanical engineering senior and co-chair of the Caribfest Committee said Caribfest is an opportunity for the Caribbean students to share their culture with both MSU and Wichita Falls.

“The importance of this parade is to expose our culture to the community,” Samuels said. “But at the same time, we give back to the community. All the proceeds that are made from the Caribfest are given to local charities in Wichita Falls.”

Samuels said that the proceeds from Caribfest also goes to the victims of both Hurricane Irma and Maria.

“Because of the hurricanes that have hit some of the islands back home, we have introduced a hurricane release fund so that we can give back home,” Samuels said. “Some of the islands that are represented like Barbuda, Anguilla, Puerto Rico and Dominica, have been devastated by hurricanes so we’re trying to give back home and also give back to the community.”

To many students, the parade was their favorite part of Caribfest. Samuels said that this is where the Caribbean students, who wear different colorful customes and body paint, have the best time.

“I like to see us coming down the road and everybody just having a good time,” Samuels said. “We invite everyone in the community. It’s good to see everyone having fun on the road.”

Arich Brown, MSU alumni, came from Dallas, Texas to experience and participate in the Caribfest parade first hand.

“This is my first year participating in the gold rush,” Brown said. “It seems exciting and I can’t wait to get on the road and it’s going to be a really good experience.”

Despite the rain that accord last week, Samuels said that he was not too concerned about it damping the attendance of Caribfest.

“Bad weather is always a concern but we hope everyone’s in good spirit,” Samuels said. “Everybody really wants to give back to the community and help the islands back home. So I’m not too worried about attendance.”

Samuels said the difficulties that Caribbean students face when enrolling in MSU. This includes arriving in a new country knowing almost no one.

“It’s a different feeling” Samuels said. “Coming to a new place and stuff like that. Meeting new people. Trying to adapt to the culture that is up here. However, it’s pretty fun up here. I like to play pool on campus and meet new people.”

Samuels said the Caribbean Students Organization is made up of students from almost every island in the Caribbean. This organization helps many Caribbean students adapt to MSU as well as offer a home-like environment for them.

“We help Caribbean students adapt to the American culture because it’s a big culture shock for us,” Samuels said. “We try to make the students feel like they are back in the Islands. We have games, we play sports together. We set up a community and help out each other.”

Clarence Williams, computer science senior and Caribfest Committee member, explained that Caribfest is one of the activities the Caribbean Student Organization organize to make Caribbean students feel at home. In the Caribbean, there are carnivals that are hosted from late summer to early fall.

“We far away from home so we can’t celebrate carnival like we use to,” Williams said. “Some of us can’t go home and experience Carnival. So we hold Caribfest to have the same experience here. It’s not on the same scale but it’s close enough.”

Students from all across the Caribbean participated in the Caribfest parade. This included Mindisah Lestrade, radiology junior, who represented her home country of Dominica.

“It’s Dominica, not the Dominican Republic,” Lestrade said. “We are a heavily forested country. We are nicknamed the nature island. And we have 165 rivers so we have a river for every day of the year.”

Despite the previous days of nonstop rain, the Caribfest committee members said that they were impressed by the high turnout.

“It was successful,” Williams said. “The turnout was big and we got a lot of the support. We sold a lot of shirts too and that money will be donated to the hurricane relief for those affected by Hurricane Irma. So it was a big success.”

Only concerns the Caribfest Committee members had was how the Caribfest parade started.

“I would have liked to start the parade earlier, but it worked out in the end,” Williams said.

2017 Caribfest Parade

Edward Collins, psychology freshman, takes a selfie at the beginning of the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Edward Collins, psychology freshman, takes a selfie at the beginning of the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Francine Baron, special education senior, dances with her Dominica flag at Caribfest on Sept.30. Photo by Sara Keeling
Francine Baron, special education senior, dances with her Dominica flag at Caribfest on Sept.30. Photo by Sara Keeling
Participants paint themselves in metallic colors for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Participants paint themselves in metallic colors for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Shenice Walters, biology senior, dances and sings with other participants in the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Shenice Walters, biology senior, dances and sings with other participants in the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Ferdine Le Blanc, Art junior, and Rocksen Jean-Louis, winer of Mr. Caribfest 2017, show the Caribbean pride by being dressed in white and metalic paint for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Ferdine Le Blanc, Art junior, and Rocksen Jean-Louis, winer of Mr. Caribfest 2017, show the Caribbean pride by being dressed in white and metalic paint for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Okan Lafleur, mechanical engineer senior, dances during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Okan Lafleur, mechanical engineer senior, dances during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Akeem Shaw, accounting senior, runs through the Caribfest Parade hyping people up by dancing and singing the songs. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Akeem Shaw, accounting senior, runs through the Caribfest Parade hyping people up by dancing and singing the songs. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Dave Hughes, accounting senior, and Akeem Shaw, accoutning senior, start to dance together during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Dave Hughes, accounting senior, and Akeem Shaw, accoutning senior, start to dance together during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Danielle Dowe, chemistry and biology senior, J'anne Robinson, nursing junior, and Annise Aaron, English freshan, gets their photo taken during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Danielle Dowe, chemistry and biology senior, J'anne Robinson, nursing junior, and Annise Aaron, English freshan, gets their photo taken during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Lidenia Clarke, Spanish junior, shakes her chest for the camera during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Lidenia Clarke, Spanish junior, shakes her chest for the camera during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Participants in the Caribfest Parade throw water around on each other when the parade got in front of the Clark Student Center Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Participants in the Caribfest Parade throw water around on each other when the parade got in front of the Clark Student Center Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Participants in the Caribfest Parade look and up and pose for the drone that was filming the parade from above Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Participants in the Caribfest Parade look and up and pose for the drone that was filming the parade from above Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Francine Baron, special education senior, dances with her Dominica flag at Caribfest on Sept.30. Photo by Sara Keeling
Francine Baron, special education senior, dances with her Dominica flag at Caribfest on Sept.30. Photo by Sara Keeling
Edeesha Darwton, nursing senior, looks around at all the people dancing during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Edeesha Darwton, nursing senior, looks around at all the people dancing during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Valandra Jno Marie, management freshman, poses for the cameras during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Valandra Jno Marie, management freshman, poses for the cameras during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
The Caribfest Parade passing the front of the Clark Student Center on Council Drive Sept 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
The Caribfest Parade passing the front of the Clark Student Center on Council Drive Sept 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
A drone flies above the Caribfest Parade on Council Drive in front of Clark Student Center Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
A drone flies above the Caribfest Parade on Council Drive in front of Clark Student Center Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Carriben Students pose for a picture during the Caribfest parade as it came down Council Drive in front of Moffett Library on Sept.30, Photo by Sara Keeling
Carriben Students pose for a picture during the Caribfest parade as it came down Council Drive in front of Moffett Library on Sept.30, Photo by Sara Keeling
Edward Collins, Psychology freshman, dances to shows off his 1st runner up sash at the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Edward Collins, Psychology freshman, dances to shows off his 1st runner up sash at the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Theo Rolle, mechanical engineer junior, waves the Bahama flag during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Theo Rolle, mechanical engineer junior, waves the Bahama flag during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Francine Baron, special education senior, jumps infront of Theo Rolle, mechanical engineer junior, with her Dominica Flag to cover his Bahama Flag during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Francine Baron, special education senior, jumps infront of Theo Rolle, mechanical engineer junior, with her Dominica Flag to cover his Bahama Flag during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Francine Baron, special education senior, dances with the Dominca Flag during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Francine Baron, special education senior, dances with the Dominca Flag during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Francine Baron, special education senior, dances with her Dominica flag at Caribfest on Sept.30. Photo by Sara Keeling
Francine Baron, special education senior, dances with her Dominica flag at Caribfest on Sept.30. Photo by Sara Keeling
Girls show off their Caribbean spirit in colorful outfits and head pieces for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Girls show off their Caribbean spirit in colorful outfits and head pieces for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Edeesha Darwton, nursing senior, shoes off her brightly feathered green and yellow outfit at the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Edeesha Darwton, nursing senior, shoes off her brightly feathered green and yellow outfit at the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Okan Lafluer, mechanical engineer senior, calls to a member of the band Spice and Ice to sing the song that the DJ had playing during the Caribfest Parade because she had sung it at the Soca Show the night before. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Okan Lafluer, mechanical engineer senior, calls to a member of the band Spice and Ice to sing the song that the DJ had playing during the Caribfest Parade because she had sung it at the Soca Show the night before. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kevin lord, computer science senior, and Richard Thomas, Management information senior, show off their Grenada flags and metalic paint for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Kevin lord, computer science senior, and Richard Thomas, Management information senior, show off their Grenada flags and metalic paint for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
The Wichita Falls Fire Department sprays the participants in the Caribfest Parade while they dance, sung, and ran through it at the end of the parade infront of the Mass Communication building before they headed onto Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
The Wichita Falls Fire Department sprays the participants in the Caribfest Parade while they dance, sung, and ran through it at the end of the parade infront of the Mass Communication building before they headed onto Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Participants jump to the music in the Wichita Falls Fire Department's water hose as they continue to celebrate the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Participants jump to the music in the Wichita Falls Fire Department's water hose as they continue to celebrate the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
The Wichita Falls Fire Department sprays the participants in the Caribfest Parade while they dance, sung, and ran through it at the end of the parade infront of the Mass Communication building before they headed onto Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
The Wichita Falls Fire Department sprays the participants in the Caribfest Parade while they dance, sung, and ran through it at the end of the parade infront of the Mass Communication building before they headed onto Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Wichita Falls Fire Department show up to cool off the participants from their long walk around MSU campus for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Wichita Falls Fire Department show up to cool off the participants from their long walk around MSU campus for the 2017 Caribfest parade held in the Dillard parking lot Sept 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Kinisha Morris, social work senior, walks away from the "splash zone" after getting drenched in water by the Wichita Falls Fire Department at the end of the Caribfest Parade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kinisha Morris, social work senior, walks away from the "splash zone" after getting drenched in water by the Wichita Falls Fire Department at the end of the Caribfest Parade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Participants in the Caribfest post for a photo after being drenched with water by the Wichita Falls Fire Department at the end of the Caribefest Parade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Participants in the Caribfest post for a photo after being drenched with water by the Wichita Falls Fire Department at the end of the Caribefest Parade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kamilah Tobin, mass communication sophomore, dances in her bright feathered outfit during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kamilah Tobin, mass communication sophomore, dances in her bright feathered outfit during the Caribfest Parade that looped from Dillard to Jesse Rogers Promenade Sept. 30. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Carriben Students pose for a picture during the Caribfest parade in front of Pierce Hall on Sept.30, Photo by Sara Keeling
Carriben Students pose for a picture during the Caribfest parade in front of Pierce Hall on Sept.30, Photo by Sara Keeling
Jorrey Martin, special education senior , sings after the carribfest parade end in front of Pierce Hall, on Sept.30. Photo by Sara Keeling
Jorrey Martin, special education senior , sings after the carribfest parade end in front of Pierce Hall, on Sept.30. Photo by Sara Keeling