ORANGE, NJ - Mayor Dwayne D. Warren, Esq. and the City of Orange Township City Council hosted the 17th Anniversary of the Caribbean Heritage Day Festival in Monte Irvin Orange Park, on Saturday August 6, 2016. The Festival is a tradition that began in East Orange in the 1970s and moved to Orange, NJ in the late 1990s. Today, it is the premiere Caribbean Festival in Essex County with thousands of people from numerous countries participating each year. 

"This festival showcases the energy and diversity of our Caribbean community right here in Orange and our surrounding sister cities," said Mayor Warren. "Every year, New Jerseyians look forward to the pulsating rhythms of the steel drums, the excitement of the entertainers and the swell of the crow ds that represent all of the islands - this has become a tradition in our town. The festival not only showcases the best of our Caribbean and West-Indian communities, but serves as a reminder that because of our immigrant communities, our city is thriving and our best days are yet to come."

This year Mr. James Lynval of Jamaica and Lady Ira of Guyana were honored for their contributions to the Caribbean community and keeping the culture in the forefront and relevant for residents who have relocated and also to the new generation of Caribbean Americans.  Additionally, the Jamaican and Guyanese flags were raised as the history of these two countries were explained by Mr. Patrick Reid of the Jamaican Organization of New Jersey, JON-J, and Lady Ira of the Guyana American Organization.

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Guests enjoyed the music of DJ Groove and the Red Team, a martial arts demo, entertained by the Kaisoah Moko Jumbies, stilt walkers and Ujama Fire and Limbo dancers.  Kids and families took advantage of the Kiddie section from Trade Amusement and could be seen taking a train ride or climbing the rock wall. Local artists, Deep Rivers, Jiggy Spruggy, and International artists, Kamarley Da Big Show, Adrian Dutchin, GBM Nutron and Shal Marshall entertained the crowd all afternoon.  Brooklyn DJ, Bevan Romano and Splash Radio, OB1 kept the crowd engaged and entertained.

The Mayor's VIP Tent was made possible with food and beverage donations from: Golden Krust, El Salvador Restaurant, Toast of the Town, and other home cooks and caterers that donated dishes.

The Caribbean Heritage Day Festival creates an environment where people can participate in the creativity of different cultures while celebrating their similarities and diversities, which emulate the history of Carnival and demonstrate the strength of the Caribbean American community in New Jersey.