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Courtesy of the office of Senator James Sanders Jr.
Courtesy of the office of Senator James Sanders Jr.
Senator James Sanders Jr. of Far Rockaway announcing the first ever Rockaway Caribbean Carnival.

This summer, you can enjoy a taste of the Caribbean without digging out your passport and getting on a plane out of Queens.

The inaugural Rockaways Caribbean Carnival will be held on Aug. 19, according to an announcement from state Senator James Sanders Jr. Sanders is working with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation, and the NYC Parks Department to bring the Caribbean Carnival to the peninsula.

During a press conference to announce the event, Sanders wore a scorpion king-style headdress and was joined by other costumed residents as Caribbean music played in the background.

“We are going to have some fun,” Sanders said. “We are going to be celebrating all of the Rockaways, but we will be particularly highlighting the contributions of the Caribbean community to America.”

The goal of the carnival will be to celebrate the various arts and culture of the Caribbean while highlighting the hidden jewel that is the Rockaways. It is anticipated that the carnival will become an annual event.

“There will be good food, good company – come and make a friend,” Sanders said. “We are going to have a ball.”

The Rockaway Caribbean Carnival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 19, and will kick off with a parade starting at Mott Avenue and Beach 20th Street. The march continues to Seagirt Boulevard ending at the Beach 17th Street amphitheater in the park.

The carnival will feature local youth performances, entertainment and cultural activities.

Residents will have the opportunity to participate in the festivities by checking out various vendors and markets and wear costumes that will be available to the public for purchase or rent through ENJ Productions.

“In a time when people are talking about building walls, we’re talking about building bridges,” Sanders said. “We don’t want to shut people out. We want to celebrate the world.”

For general information or questions about the event, call Lisa George at Senator Sanders’ Far Rockaway office at 718-327-7017.

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