Caribbeans Kick Off a Fifth Annual Festival in Quincy
By Nadia Felder
Flags swaying in the breeze were spotted from the road while live reggae music echoed through the speakers. As guests arrived at the fifth anniversary of the Caribbean Festival in Quincy, they were welcomed by the smell of hot jerk, hickory smoke, and curry spices from the Caribbean.
Five Hill Farm planned a day full of festivities on Oct. 3. The land was big enough for families to enjoy horseback riding, for children to bounce in multiple bounce houses, for folks to ride on ATVs and miniature trains. What captured the audience’s attention, however, was the live stage performances.
Stage performances, like the four Tallahassee musicians, shocked the crowd with their reggae infused song remixes and their unordinary band name, “Sway Jah Vu.” Although only one member of Sway Jah Vu was of Haitian decent, collectively the band had a real rooted reggae rhythm that intrigued the islanders to stop what they were doing and just dance.
“We are heavily inspired by Bob Marley, all of us,” said lead vocalist Travis Cockerham. “I’m really glad we got to perform here today. I love the vibe!”
The same Caribbean vibe the rock band enjoyed, was exactly the kind of atmosphere the festival intended.
“This festival is about bringing the community together. Whether your’re Caribbean or not,” said Dj Twingie.
Dj Twingie, also known as Dean, is a Disc Jockey for an online radio station called live11.com. As the announcer for the festival, this is what he had to say, “It’s about fun, family, food, fellowship, and faith. A place where people can introduce different cultures, and exhibit what their country means to them.”
Much of the event’s diversity was shown through the vendors. Whether selling food, jewelry, or skin care products, each merchant proudly represented where they came from through their product. Such as Corine’s Kitchen selling delicious island food representing the U.S. Virgin Islands or Clouds of Satej selling whipped African Shea Butter representing Jamaica.
“This is my first time hearing about the Caribbean festival,” said Shimoauo (Sunny) Thomas.
Sunny whips African Shea Butter to make it easier to apply to skin, instead of its usual hard form, then sells it to people who struggle with skin sensitivity. “I love Shea butter and I love this event. I wish more people would have known about this though, because this could be really fun for the whole family.”
Even without a crowded event, families left the festival with full stomachs and smiling faces after a full day of Caribbean vibes.