Brittney Cottingham

Members of the CSO displayed the fashion elements of the Carribean culture at Saturdays launch, Paradiso.

Almost 200 students got a sneak peek of what’s in store for this years Caribfest with a launch event entitled Paradiso on Saturday night.

“Caribbean culture is foreign to the Wichita Falls community, so the launch is important for them to learn about it before Caribfest takes place,” Caribfest Committee Chair Aziza Lake said.

Paradiso featured bright carnival costumes, which are a staple part displayed at the Caribfest launch.

“Carnival is an integral part of Caribbean culture,” Lake said. “It is about freedom, no longer being under the rule of our colonial masters.”

A band also performed a medley of Soca songs from various Caribbean Islands.

Soca is a hybrid of different genres based in Calypso music which is Caribbean folk.

“Soca is considered party music with its fast percussion beats and lyrical content,” Caribfest Committee Co-chair Kimberly Titus said. “(The lyrics) are all about having fun when at a party or an event.”

The flavorful music was highlighted by the Caribbean dance style, whining, that has roots in the Soca and Calypso music.

“We listen to Soca and Calypso from a very young age so whining comes very natural,” Lake said.

Paradiso and October’s Caribfest are organized by the Caribbean Student Organization (CSO) with almost 300 members from Caribbean countries ranging from the Islands of Antigua and Barbuda to Trinidad and Jamaica.The launch was just the beginning for CSO, who now have their eyes set on Caribfest.

“It is an avenue for Caribbean students to give back to the Wichita Falls community by donating to various charities while at the same time sharing our culture.” Titus said.

Caribfest will take place on Oct. 7.

The money raised from Caribfest will be given to three different charities: Patsy’s House, Faith Missions and the WFISD.

Any student who wants to participate with the planning of Caribfest can send an email to [email protected]

“Cultural diversity can help to expand one’s horizons so as we Caribbean students experience Texas culture, we would like to share a bit of ours,” said  Lake.

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