Queens Carnival brings sights and sounds of the Caribbean to Far Rockaway

Far Rockaway
State Senator James Sanders hosts Queens Carnival with a parade through Far Rockaway and Socca and Reggae performances. (Photos courtesy of Sanders’ office)

Hundreds of masqueraders paraded through the streets of Far Rockaway as the Queens Carnival returned for a fourth year on Saturday, Aug. 27.

The festivities kicked off with a parade featuring 10 floats stacked with speakers blasting soca and reggae music starting at Mott Avenue and Beach 21st Street and ending at the Rockaway Boardwalk at Beach 17th Street.

DJs including Bobby Konders and his partner Lando, as well as Hot 97’s Massive B and DJ Koolkat, were on hand. The main stage featured an all-star lineup of soca and reggae performers including Denise Belfon, Beniton aka Jack Frostt, Ajala and General Grant.

DJ Cheem performed some of his greatest hits including “BaBa Ben,” while inviting fans to join him on stage to dance and show off their colorful costumes. The festival was hosted by state Senator James Sanders with Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson and Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers.

“The party was in Far Rockaway but it felt more like the Caribbean as we brought together the people and the cultures that make Queens an iconic melting pot and the most diverse borough in the city,” Sanders said. “It was great seeing people in attendance with their family, friends, children and grandchildren. All are welcome.”

Matt Long of Can You Dig It created a sand sculpture of a masquerader sponsored by Cross River Bank, and the evening concluded with a fireworks display overlooking the Atlantic Ocean that was sponsored by Brooks-Powers.

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