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'Colors of the Caribbean' offers island flavor, education

Free event in Hollywood on Saturday

Chloe Herring | 6/12/2014, 9 a.m.

The taste of the Caribbean Islands will come to South Florida this weekend with the third annual Colors of the Caribbean Festival, a free event hosted by the Caribbean American Heritage Foundation Inc. (CAHFI).

The event, which will be held this Saturday at Young Circle Park in Hollywood, is in observance of national Caribbean-American Heritage month.

Event creator Asa Sealy said the festival is a great way to bond with family just in time for Father’s Day.

“I think this event brings together families. It’s an excellent platform for moms, dads and kids to come interact and learn together,” he said.

Sealy welcomes anyone to attend the event even if they aren’t of Caribbean descent.

“You come to our events and it’s a very diverse crowd,” he said. “But our focus is not solely on entertainment. It’s to engage, understand and appreciate the contributions of our nationals.”

Some of the educational aspects incorporated into Colors of the Caribbean will include cultural performances, which will offer rich glimpses into island life, a green zone for children to promote eco-friendly practices and representatives from the Pérez Art Museum Miami, which is running a Caribbean exhibit called “Crossroads of the World.”

Colors of the Caribbean will feature foods and drinks from various islands in the Caribbean. Visitors can delve into various island flavors: Curry goat from Trinidad, Bahamian conch salad and jerk chicken from the Bahamas. There even will be traditional barbecue from the United States.

The event starts at 4 p.m. with a live Junkanoo parade and musical performances throughout the day by Midnite from the Virgin Islands, Wayne Wonder of Jamaica and others from Haiti, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.

Another famous Caribbean artist, Kevin Lyttle, will not be at the festival but was named the ambassador of the Caribbean-American heritage month by CAHFI. Lyttle, who hails from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, turned international star back in 2003 with his hit “Turn Me On.”

He said members of the Caribbean massive tend to have strong national pride, which is okay but that he hopes to send a stronger message around the world.

“I’m trying to send a unity message. I’m looking to see in the future that the Caribbean comes together and that it not just be about one island but the whole culture,” Lyttle said.

Lyttle also said he wants people of all cultures to use the month of June to celebrate Caribbean culture. For residents of South Florida where there are over 465,000 Caribbean-Americans, he said Colors of the Caribbean is a great start.

“It’s not that we’re just trying to embrace other Caribbeans. We’re really trying to reach outside the diaspora,” he said. “Caribbeans are associated with partying and enjoying themselves.

What better way than to spend your Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or any other day around caribbean culture and music and food?”