State Senator James Sanders announced that the Queens Carnival will be returning to the streets of Far Rockaway on Saturday, Aug. 27, featuring masquerade costumes, moko jumbie stilt walkers, singers, dancers, island foods, a fun run and a sand castle building contest on the beach.
The festival is based on the concept of the Caribbean Carnival, an event that takes place in many countries around the world as the last opportunity to “release all of one’s energy and joyous emotions” before the 40 penitential days of Lent, Sanders explained.
“Culture creates a sense of belonging, enhances learning, and promotes physical and mental health. Under those conditions, it was important to me to create an event to celebrate the Rockaways and the diverse melting pot that is the borough of Queens,” Sanders said. “I am, of course, speaking of the Queens Carnival, formerly the Rockaway Caribbean Carnival, now in its fourth year.”
This year’s Queens Carnival will highlight two island nations: Trinidad, known for its steel pans and the limbo dance, and Antigua, which is celebrated for its many beaches. The carnival possession steps off at Mott Avenue and Beach 21st Street at 11 a.m. ending on the Rockaway Boardwalk at Beach 17th Street.
“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 in America.”
The festivities will include a concert by nationally renowned Soca sensation Destra Garcia, as the headline performer.
“We are so proud to have a superstar of the magnitude of Destra as the crown jewel of our Queens Carnival,” Sanders said. “We are expecting Destra to give one of her usual, energy-filled, dance-inducing performances.”
Queens Carnival will conclude with a fireworks display sponsored by Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers beginning at sundown on the beach. Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson is a co-sponsor of the event which is presented in partnership with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation, REMA4US, DredSurfer Grill and the 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway.