The celebration lasted four days starting on Thursday, June 20 with the Symposium. Dr. Anil Ramnanan and Dr. Alison McLetchie presented on Carnival in Trinidad: Past, Present and Future, and the underline theme of David Rudder’s Soca.
Day Two of Charleston Carifest was the Masquerade Fete held at the Marriott Hotel. His Excellency Dr. Neil Parsan greeted each guest individually and then shared greetings from Trinidad and Tobago. After dinner the group was treated to a special performance by Indian Dancer, Aarti Narang. This was followed by the introduction of the Caribbean Rootz Mas Band Dancers depicting the theme Fire and Water, Gerald Brown, Marcia Miller, Regina Hollingshed, Julia Rodriquez and the King and Queen of Carnival, Ari Rodriquez and Brandy Valentine.
Day Three, Carnival Day started with the Carnival Street Parade. His Excellency, Dr Neil Parsan was the Grand Marshall for the Parade and waved the flag of Trinidad and Tobago as the parade meandered through the streets of Charleston en route to Brittle Bank. The colourful masqueraders made quite an impact as the trucks playing Caribbean music accompanied by revelers in carnival attire danced beside and behind them. The Parade entered Brittle Bank Park to shouts of joy and excitement. The Park participants were treated to dance numbers by the Mas Bands and a Stage Show with local artists, Gatorman Rasta, and International Artists, Mad Dog who pumped up the crowd into a frenzy, followed by Fucha Kid, and Kenne Blessin, Antigua’s Soca Crossover Artist, Trinidad born DJ Boonez Gooseman. DJs Fynalee and Freeze with host Danja Lee. The Caribbean Expressions, a family Steel Band group thrilled the audience with the sweet sounds Trinidad and Tobago, Steelpan. There was no shortage of Caribbean and American foods along with various crafts and articles representing the Caribbean islands. Sponsor, La Isla was also in the park distributing copies of their magazines. The fun in the park ended at 8:30 pm with the park participants expressing readiness for 2014.
The White Party was held at the 787 Bar and Grill. This space was transformed by Shirley Daley into a beautiful oasis with white table cloths, candles, and white lights. Trinidad born DJ Nynjah started the night and handed over to DJs Freeze and Fynalee who kept the crowd on the dance floor. All monies raised at the White Party goes to the Children’s SteelBand Project.
Day four of Charleston Carifest started with a beautiful historic tour of Charleston by Classic Carriage, and ended with a private dinner reception for His Excellency Dr. Neil Parsan, and Hon. Dr. Anil Ramnanan held at the beautiful Le Crueset building.
As Charleston Carifest 2k13 bids goodbye, we express special thanks to Dr. Neil Parsan and Dr. Anil Ramnanan the Trinidad and Tobago dignitaries, Simon Lewis and the CLAW Program, Dr. Patricia Lessane and the Avery staff, Dr. Alison Mc Letchie, Trinidad born, Claflin College Sociology Professor, Kerri Forest and her team Harriet, Brandon, and Heather, Renata Dos Santos and her volunteers, Cynthia and Larry Frazier, Levannah Forrest, Eric Esquivel, Jonathan Rivera and La Isla Magazine, Office of the Mayor of the City of Charleston, Magnolia Plantation, Nelson Signs, Classic Carriage, Sonia Errthum, Nick Caspers of Mynt, William Copenhaver, Jungle and the Crew at 787 Bar and Grill, Terry Base, Channel 5 News, Bounce of Charleston, Low Country Live, Charleston Scene, Dr and Mrs. Ojo Oladimeji, Erica Baly, Leroy Davis, Marcia Miller, Arianna Comer King and Assistants Jose and Michael, Shirley Daley, Tim Beck, Sherretta Ivey, Sherron Harris, O’Brian Robinson, Richard Beck, Danja Lee, Carifest Dancers Regina Hollingshed, Brandy Valentine, Gerald Brown, Marcia Miller, Audrey Antrobus, all the Artists, Band Leaders, Masqueraders, Stage Presence and Other Brother Entertainment.