Vincentian cultural expo opens in Brooklyn

This Saturday, Aug. 25, the Brooklyn-based Club St. Vincent, Inc., one of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ leading cultural and educational groups in the U.S., will stage a massive cultural expo in Brooklyn. The 9th biannual event will be held at at Mahalia Jackson High School, 790 East New York Ave., from 12:00 noon – 9:00 p.m.

Under the theme, “Harambe” (“Let’s All Pull Together”) will be two components: the exhibit and live entertainment,” said Verna Arthur, Club St. Vincent’s Cultural Exposition Committee chairperson. The expo will highlight “available products, resources and services the community has to offer, while providing marketing and networking opportunities for our vendors,” she added. Arts and craft, agro products and cultural performances by professional and up-and-coming artists, “spanning from the Diaspora to the shores of the Caribbean.”

“Artists, whose only means of livelihood is their art, always look forward to this event,” Arthur said.

With greater emphasis this year on agro products, Arthur said vendors from home, as well as some from the Diaspora, will participate in the massive showcase.

These include: Alita Garraway (green seasoning, seasoning for pork, seasoning for curry foods, pepper sauce with lime juice, ginger and mint); Peter Providence and Dinks Johnson (paintings); Island Wear (bangles and earings); Ermine Williams (clothing, table cloths, coasters, etc., made from crochet); Erica Country Style (pepper sauce and pepper and passion jelly, etc); Scrapie Dopwell (craft); and Vida Bulze (straw purses and fans).

“We are appealing to patrons to show appreciation to our vendors by purchasing their products,” Arthur said.

Leading entertainers in the entertainment segment, which starts at 6:00 p.m., comprise: the incomparable musical arranger extraordinaire Frankie McIntosh and his uncle, Harold McIntosh; Becket; Scorcher; the revived band, Clymax (back just for the exposition); and Winston Soso and Cauldric Forbes teaming up (expected to bring much nostalgia).

Other performers include: the United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn; Abena Amory (daughter of Erlene Williams-King and Vance Amory, former premier of Nevis); Chico Ellis and Omari Neverson (tribute in poems to the late Shake Keane); Red Tiger Jiu Jitsu Academy; Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) national dress and slide presentations (national dress worn by nationals of their respective countries); Fayola; and flag ceremony.

The sound system is furnished by calypsonian Groovy D, formerly Dread Condition, whose real name is Vincent Kennedy.

Arthur said the performance of perennial panorama champions, Starlift Steel Orchestra, will be the highpoint of the evening.

“We have raised the bar a little higher,” she said. “This is an historic moment for Starlift – the first time ever to perform in the United States. They promised to make us proud.”