It’s A Celebration, CARIBMASK!

Raleigh, North Carolina, has its very own Caribbean festival, CaribMask, which is going on its 7th year!

The festival celebrates the Caribbean culture through food, dance, music, art and a lot more. This year the festival started on August 22, 2018 and ended August 26, 2018. However, I only attended the Saturday portion of the event, which involved the Parade of Bands and Village Festival, where several food vendors and pop-up shops took over Fayetteville street in Downtown Raleigh!

I had no idea the CaribMask festival was going on at all. It was just my lucky day off when I googled events in Raleigh for the weekend, and the time of the parade appeared on the list of events. I became excited and eager to attend the parade because I experienced the 2017 Caribana Fest in Toronto, Canada.

The Caribbean Festival originated as the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival; it would take place on the Monday and Wednesday before Ash Wednesday. The Caribbean festival is a celebration of several different traditions throughout each Caribbean culture. Over the years, the festival has become a popular celebration in large cities such as Raleigh, NC.!

CaribMask is hosted each year by the Raleigh-Durham Afro-Caribbean Association (RDACA). Their mission, according to their Facebook page, is to promote diversity and equality. They aim to create a deeper appreciation of Caribbean culture in the area through integration, creation, and support of community activities like the CaribMask Caribbean Carnival.

Raleigh is a vibrant and multicultural city. There were people representing several areas of the Caribbean: Jamaica, Trinidad, Africa, Colombia, Brazil, Barbados, Haiti, Bahamas, Belize, Panama, Guyana, St Lucia, and areas surrounding Raleigh, NC.

The parade started at 11 am, but I got there fifteen minutes late, so I was not able to get a good view. Each side of Fayetteville Street was filled with people as eager to see the parade as much as I was. I found a spot on the left side of the street, where I stood on the base of a tree bed next to a gentleman who seemed to be alone as well. Even though I stood on a raised tree bed, I struggled with having a good view of what was happening, but the music kept me entertained!

Once the parade was over, I immediately started looking for Jerk Chicken with red beans and rice. I tried the dish for the first time during my Jamaica trip in 2016, and I loved it! All of the food lines were extremely long; I stood in line for over 1 hour and 30 minutes. The sun was extremely hot while I waited, and I debated if it was worth it The longer I stood in line, the more I told myself I might as well stick it out because I’d been standing for such a long time already anyway! I will say…..the wait was worth it!

I hope to experience more of the festival in 2019, but in the meantime….enjoy my photos!

CaribMask 2018 Photos







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My Calm Place

No matter where I am in the world if there is a beach I will be there. The beach is my favorite place to visit. It’s my calm place and where I go when I need to be a lone. The sound of the waves soothes me and the breeze from the waves makes me feel rejuvenated.

There is something about looking out into the ocean and listening to the waves that makes me feel everything will be okay. I can spend hours on the beach without realizing the amount of time passing by because I become at ease. On January 13th I was stressed and missing home, so I drove to North Myrtle Beach, SC and spent three hours on the beach without realizing it. Living close by the beach is something I miss so I take advantage of every opportunity I receive.

 A glimpse of different beach adventures!