ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The return of the annual celebration of Caribbean culture in Rochester drew crowds to the MLK Memorial Park for live music, food, vendors, cultural events, and more on Saturday.
The Rochester West Indian Festival Organization says the celebration, Carifest, is the largest Caribbean festival in Western New York.
“This culture is going on in Rochester for a very long time,” explains attendee Rose, “but the younger generation is taking over now, and it is wonderful.”
Rose, who is from Jamaica, says it doesn’t matter what culture, country, or background people come from; all come out and are welcome to celebrate. Rose says, “Our motto in Jamaica— we are ‘Out of Many One People.'”
She says, “We are glad to return it back to Rochester because of the pandemic, you know, we were out for a little while, but we are back, and we are strong, and we are going to do even better next year.”
Headliners at this year’s festival include International Women in Reggae, Alfred St. John’s Trinidad & Tobago Steelband, Javvy 1 & Prestige, and I90 Sound Clash.
The parade kicked things off at 11 a.m., followed by the festival, which will run until 8 p.m. with tickets available for $20 at the gate. Children five and under are free, and seniors over 65 and children 6 through 12 years old are $10.