The 2022 Grand Marshalls, Elizabeth Hansen, USVI Tourism Ambassador, and Shawn Selwood, VI Soca Artist, are to lead the Charleston Carifest Carnival Parade. The US Virgin Islands comprised of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John, is the spotlighted country for 2022. The parade, held in honor of Caribbean American Heritage Month will wind through the streets of Downtown Charleston beginning at 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 18th. The parade will conclude with the Carnival Celebration in Brittle Bank Park, from 5:00 PM – 11:00PM.
The US House of Representatives in 2005, declared June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month to honor and recognize the importance of the Caribbean community in the United States. The Caribbean community is one of the most culturally rich and diverse in America. In South Carolina, Caribbean Nationals and their off-spring contribute to the vibrancy of the state in a wide range of social, academic, artistic, commercial, governmental and non-profit sectors.
On June 16, the Carifest Presentation & Reception hosted by Dr. Hollis France will be held at the Charleston Public Library, on Calhoun Street at 5:45 PM. Virgin Island Natives, Dr. Hadiya Sewer and Author Tiphanie Yanique will present on the Queens of the Caribbean and share the significant contributions of Queen Mary. Dr. Lynne Guitar will present on the Taino Queen of Puerto Rico. Chef O’Lovely, another VI National, will provide delicious samples of VI delicacies.
On Saturday, June 18th the Carnival Street Parade begins on John and King Street, trailing from King to Congress to Hagood straight into Brittle Bank Park. The colorful carnival celebration in the park, hosted by Wayne Hall, of the Wayne Hall Show and Reggae Vibes Radio of Atlanta, will be filled with music showcasing Caribbean Culture, Masqueraders, authentic Caribbean food, Arts & Crafts. There will be live performances by the celebrated Virgin Island Soca artist Scrouge, Maddog Doggie Dog of Jamaica, Latin DJ Esco, Pres Maga, Empress J, Lady Impress, Gatorman, and gracing the Carifest stage for the first time is NANDI, a new Soca Artiste hailing from Charleston.
Portion of the proceeds from Charleston Carifest to benefit Healthy Lifestyle Network a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, based in Charleston, geared towards transforming the lives of adults and children in the Tri-county area and Jamaica, impacted by childhood sexual abuse.