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Pre-Labor Day jam set for Harlem this Sunday

Bevan Springer | 8/31/2011, 5:10 p.m.
NEW YORK (Sept. 1, 2011)-While millions get set to celebrate the annual West Indian American...
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NEW YORK (Sept. 1, 2011)-While millions get set to celebrate the annual West Indian American Day Carnival Parade on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn on Monday, Caribbean folks will be warming up the day before in Harlem.

Caribbean Cultural Fest 2011, presented by Virgin Islanders United (VIU), is set to take place on Sun., Sept. 4 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Jackie Robinson Park at 148th Street and Bradhurst Avenue.

The free Caribbean music concert and food bazaar, which attracts a diverse audience, will feature a list of top entertainers, including Calypso Rose, VI soca sensation Rudy, the BQE Band, the Top Notch Band and 2011 VI Carnival road march champions, the Spectrum Band.

Participants of all ages will experience traditional mocko jumbies and clown performances and have an opportunity to meet international jazz star, Virgin Islander Dion Parson, of the 21st Century Band.

The United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is supporting this weekend's festival, during which it will promote its increasingly popular Ambassadors Program to Virgin Islanders.

"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 United States Virgin Islands and experience the varied and vibrant attractions across the territory.

"The way this annual event emboldens the Caribbean community and offers a sense of pride each and every year is truly rewarding," said VIU President Janet Parris.

Patrons are asked to arrive early and bring flags, blankets and folding chairs.

Aloma "Lomie" Host-Barnabas will receive the VIU's first annual Profile Award, which recognizes Virgin Islanders living abroad who are making a positive difference within their community.

For many years, Lomie has been recognized throughout the tristate area for her delicious VI and Caribbean food available at Caribbean events in addition to hosting annual parties, dances and boat rides. The festival's vendor village has officially been named Lomie's VI Kitchen in her honor.

The event will be simulcast live throughout the territory on Ackley Media Group stations-105 Jams, Kiss FM and Hitz 96-and streamed online.

For further information, call (212) 713-5787 or visit www.virginislandersunited.org.