Despite a lack of support for expanding this year’s Cariwest festival, nothing could bring down the mood for the event’s 25th anniversary celebration.
“We had a bigger attendance this year than last,” president Donna Coombs-Montrose said. “It was definitely worthy of our 25th anniversary.”
With a weekend filled with Caribbean music, dancing, food, sights and sounds, this year’s Cariwest brought out people of all ages to celebrate the culture.
After requesting official permission to start the festival at 121 Street and Jasper Avenue, Coombs-Montrose said she was told the request wasn’t possible due street obstruction.
“Our festival used to run from 121 Street and Jasper Avenue, but last year we were told it had to start on 108 Street due to traffic obstruction,” Coombs-Montrose said.
“This year was supposed to be the year we were extended back to 121 Street, but we were again told it wasn’t possible.”
Despite the lack of an expanded area, organizers project this year’s event will exceed last year’s attendance of 51,000.
“The Square was flooded Saturday night after the parade,” Coombs-Montrose said.
“I’m so happy to see that many people (were) touched by our culture.”