Declaring its support of the island’s Diaspora communities, the Department of Tourism stated it will help bolster efforts of the Virgin Islanders United (VIU) organization to promote the rich cultural heritage of “America’s Caribbean” at its annual Caribbean Cultural Fest on Sunday at New York’s Jackie Robinson Park in Manhattan.
Caribbean Cultural Fest is a free Caribbean music concert and food bazaar which attracts diverse attendees, including Virgin Islanders, Caribbean nationals and friends of the region.
“We have kicked our marketing activities in the Diaspora into higher gear,” said Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty, who added that, in addition to supporting VI culture, the department is encouraging Virgin Islanders and Caribbean nationals to travel to the US Virgin Islands and experience the varied and vibrant attractions across the Territory.
Organizers have announced a list of top entertainers, including Calypso Rose; V.I. soca sensation, Rudy; BQE Band; Top Notch Band, and 2011 V.I. Carnival road march champions, Spectrum Band.
Attendees of all ages will be enchanted by traditional mocko jumbies, clown performances, and an opportunity to meet international jazz star, Virgin Islander Dion Parson of the 21st Century Band.
“As a civic organization representing the Territory it is our intent to encourage as many people as possible to visit the US Virgin Islands and learn about our vibrant culture and the wide array of experiences on offer in St Thomas, St John, St Croix and Water Island,” said Kevin Hughes, VIU spokesperson and the organization’s immediate past president.
“We are continually grateful to Virgin Islanders living abroad who continue to carry our flag with pride while supporting efforts to grow our bread and butter tourism industry,” said Nicholson-Doty.
The commissioner asserted the event was also an opportunity to promote the Department’s Ambassadors Program even further, which she reports, has grown exponentially in recent weeks.