By Tangerine Clark
A sea of flags filled the air over the grounds of Mayer Levin Performing Arts School in Brooklyn recently, as colorfully dressed patrons enjoyed the sights and sounds of the diverse culture of the Guyanese people.
The event was the borough’s biggest Folk Festival.
Over 3,000 Caribbean nationals came out to relish in the Guyana Cultural Association’s eighth annual festival that got into full swing with a children’s folk dance segment accompanied by London-based flautist, Keith Waithe, African drummers Akoyah Rudder, Canada-based, Kenton Wyett, and Brian Gonzales.
Entire families who crammed into the venue were seen greeting each other with hugs and kisses, and at times expressing themselves in their Guyanese dialect, overjoyed to see each other.
The smells of delicious fare attracted fans to the many food booths, and vendors who sold from arts and craft, clothing and trinkets in tents that circled the perimeter of the grounds. Others positioned themselves in front of the stage ready for what was a sensational presentation ever experienced at the festival.
One fan became emotional, stating that she had traveled all the way from Canada, and was impressed with the festival, and thrilled to see friends she hadn’t seen in many years.
Fueled by sentimentality, the onlookers played mas in front of the Chronicle Atlantic Steel Orchestra, and danced to a slew of entertainers, who thrilled the crowd, with patriotic songs, Soca and reggae music.
Popular Chutney superstar, Terry Gajraj and the Supertones Band, teamed up with crowd favorite Adrian Dutchin, who took off his shirt to the delight of the ladies. From young to old had a blast wining, jamming and moving to the Angels Band.
Emceed by Rose October-Edun and Bobby Vieira, the crowd also enjoyed a throwback to musical variety in Guyana, with the cool vocals of Jennifer Fereira, and soul singer, Pamela Maynard who put on a Patty LaBelle performance to the delight of her audience.
The action-packed programme had a taste of Trini stalwart Singing Francine who unleashed an infectious taste of calypso.
Pritha Singh, Auntie Bhagu and Rudy Sasenarine of the RajKumari Cultural Center, the Impressions Dance Theatre, and Ray Styles were all magnificent.
Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, who sent along an exhibit of products from Guyana, came himself to enjoy the festival, stopping by the United States Census 2010, and GABPC Booths, and later toured the festival grounds. A food tasting demonstration, by Esther Haynes-Tross of BCAT TV, and Roxanne Sookhai of Unique Professional Creations, was enjoyed by all.
Festival organizers extended a heartfelt thank you to sponsors, Caribbean cellular phone giant, Digicel, Western Union, Money Gram, Laparkan, MetroPlus, and Four Seasons Manufacturing Cookie Sybil’s Bakery, Dr. Matheau Eugene, Senator John Sampson, and ENG Caribbean Vision Center.(Caribbeanlifenews.com)
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