The City of Miramar in Florida capped off its month-long Caribbean-American Heritage celebrations by featuring the Taste of the Caribbean Islands festival at the City’s Town Center Plaza. A colorful showcase of Caribbean culinary artistry and culture, this marvelous event was hosted by the City’s Commissioner, Alexandra P. Davis and went from 6—10pm with attendees being afforded the opportunity to tantalize their taste buds by purchasing a wide variety of Caribbean specialty dishes from local restaurants—which lined the streets with their food trucks.
Ranked as Florida’s 13th largest city, Miramar boasts roughly 150,000 residents and is sitused in South Florida where over 300,000 Jamaicans and folks of Jamaican heritage reside. Needless to say, Jamaican cuisine is ubiquitous in the region—with over 500 Jamaican restaurants, bakeries, and shops at one’s finger tips. What’s more, Jamaicans are the largest immigrant group in Broward county—in which the City of Miramar is located along with some other South Florida cities with “nuff” Jamaicans, most notably, Lauderhill, North Lauderdale, Plantation and Pembroke Pines.
The Taste of the Caribbean Islands festival was certainly a good vibe as evidenced by patrons to the event actively milling around while chatting and catching up with friends in the wake of the long, hard slog of the Covid-19 pandemic. And a number of top Miramar city government officials were on hand in addition to the event’s host Commissioner, Alexandra P. Davis —including Mayor of Miramar, Wayne Messam, and Commissioner Maxwell B. Chambers. Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar is of Jamaican descent and has lived in Miramar for over 18 years. In turn, Maxwell Chambers was first elected to office of Commissioner in 2015 and a year later became Vice Mayor. Lastly, Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis was born in England, raised in Jamaica and became Vice Mayor Miramar in 2013.
The festival at the City’s Town Center Plaza was not without live entertainment. Hailing from the Bahamas, the talented Julien Believe was on hand and was seen hanging out in his tent which featured Believe Wines—‘Wine of the Bahamas’. He later took the stage set up in front of Miramar’s City Hall to deliver several of his bouncy hits, including ‘She Got That Junkanoo’. The audience surely knew that song very well and vibedvalong with Julien while singing the lyrics word-for-word. Adding to the musical vibes was South Florida based, Visions Band drum band.
All photos taken by Nick Ford, who lives and works in South Florida.