In 2006, a group of dedicated Caribbean leaders and The Caribbean American Young Adults Social and Civic Organization (CAYASCO), partnered with the Riverfront Recapture organization to create the 1st Annual Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival. Their vision was to enhance the City of Hartford's revitalization efforts during the West Indian Week Celebration in August.
Today The Festival is a showcase of Caribbean foods, culture, music, travel destinations, merchandise & health information, representing the English, Spanish and French speaking Caribbean countries. The vibrant Caribbean population of the The Greater Hartford area proudly presents their scrumptious culinary delights, their broad range of musical styles, such as Reggae, Soca, Salsa, Jazz, Calypso, Steel Band and Gospel, all set on the back drop of Hartford's most pristine outdoor Riverfront Venue.
For the inaugural event, an estimated 7,000 people of various economic backgrounds, nationalities and races experienced the Caribbean through the many sights and sounds of this festival. According to Mr. Charles Myers of the Riverfront Recapture, crowds have since grown to an estimated 20,000 people in just a few years.
We recently added a Mini Carnival through a grant from the Greater Hartford Arts Council and A Children's Village with free face painting, bounce stations and macaroni jewelry making courtesy of Price Choppers.
Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival, is now one of The Riverfront Plaza Signature events which is enjoyed by our diverse Greater Hartford population annually. We expect that this event will soon become a two day festival incorporating entertainment & activities based on the water and so much more.
Our mission is to build understanding and promote the cultural exchange of our Caribbean culture to the broader community.
-Sample Caribbean food.
-Shop in the Caribbean marketplace.
-Experience Caribbean culture through, taste, sight and sound.
-Enjoy exciting performing arts entertainment presented through dance, poetry, gospel, arts and crafts; and singing.
-Spend the day at one of Hartford's most exciting out door venues.
-Promote tourism to the various Caribbean islands.
-Promote tourism for the City of Hartford.