Island hopper (September/October 2007)

Music, cuisine and talent will be on display in the Caribbean during the months of September and October

From Canada to Trinidad and Tobago, the best of Caribbean culture will be on show during September and October, when Caribbean people will showcase their music, cuisine, talents and the natural beauty of their islands. Of course you are welcome to join in the celebrations, all of which promise to be enjoyable.

St Vincent’s Seventh Annual Fashion Caribbean is certainly one of those events. The brainchild of Image Modelling Agency, the event runs from September 1 to 2 and features designers from the host country and around the region.

Head north on September 3 to participate in the Brooklyn Labour Day Parade on the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. Also known as the West Indian parade, this Caribbean Carnival, the largest of its kind in North America, combines the best of the islands with an American flair.

Before heading back to the Caribbean, however, hop over to Canada for Caribbean Week in Toronto. Running from September 26 to 30, Caribbean Week is organised by the Caribbean Hotel Association and celebrates the sights, colours, culture and unique attributes of each island.

Curaçao joins in the celebrations from September 27 to 30, as that country plays host to the annual Caribbean Gift and Craft Show. This is the region’s premier trade show for the finest art, gifts, craft and fashion items produced in the Caribbean.

During those same four days (September 27 to 30), neighbouring Aruba will be alive with the tinkling of ivories for the second annual Piano Festival.

September 29 is also the launch of the parang season in Trinidad and Tobago at the Parang Association’s headquarters in Arima, east Trinidad. A series of regional competitions culminates in the grand finals of this Christmas folk music in December.

Ring in October in high spirits at the Rum and Food Festival in St Lucia from October 1 to 4, featuring menus by invited chefs, lectures on rum, demonstrations by chefs, tastings of over 40 rums from across the region, and concerts.

Aruba takes the spotlight again on October 6 with the Sixth Aruba Music Festival, featuring international music stars.

The Grenada Classics—a friendly cricket tournament—on October 8 provides a great opportunity to socialise in the spice isle. Apart from rubbing shoulders with notable cricketers from around the world, you can enjoy parties and matches.

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The Bahamas hosts the third international African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference from October 10 to 14. It will be a worldwide gathering of government representatives, cultural institutions, scholars, artists, journalists, educators, preservationists, architects, engineers and students, and the theme is “From Slave Ship to Self-Determined Destinations”.

The Caribbean loves dominoes, so expect fighting spirits at the World Dominoes Championships in Jamaica from October 18 to 20. One thousand contenders and 500 two-person teams will compete for US$150,000 in cash and prizes.

From Jamaica, jump over to Dominica for the much anticipated World Creole Music Festival from October 26 to 28. The festival brings together musicians, singers and bands from all over the Caribbean and features the unique rhythms of zouk, zydeco, cadence, compas and soukous.

End the month with more creole culture in St Lucia for Jounen Kwéyòl Entenasyonnal on October 28. This festival celebrates the French dialect spoken in the eastern Caribbean, with Creole food, music and games