August 31, 2012
SVG Cultural Exposition in Brooklyn, NY, big success

by Taranjah Yaw Fri, Aug 31, 2012

Despite the non-appearance of the main act, Starlift Steel Orchestra from St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Club St Vincent Inc’s Cultural Exposition in Brooklyn, New York, was a major success.{{more}}

So said Verna Arthur, Public Relations Officer of Club St Vincent and Chair of the Cultural Exposition committee.

The Expo was held last Saturday, at the Mahalia Jackson High School on East New York Avenue and ran from 12 to 9 p.m. This year’s event had over 50 vendors participating, a record since it began in the early 80s. The vendors represented the various Caribbean territories, with the majority being Vincentians. Ten vendors, including visual artist Dinks Johnson sent their wares

from SVG; Ann Prescott of Prescott and Sons of Middle Street; Kingstown; was there, personally manning her stall of novelty items and domestic artifacts.

According to Arthur, sales were good; the products included foods and drinks, agro-products, jewelry and arts and craft, while the entertainment package included poetry, drama, African and Caribbean dancers, fashion and gospel and soca artists, including Winston Soso and the band Climax. The entertainment aspects took place

in the school’s auditorium, with a live feed to the first floor where the products were being sold.

The attendance throughout the day was very good, with patrons coming from throughout the Tri-State area. There were many notable Vincentians, including SVG’s UN Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves, Consul General Selmon Walters and his deputy Edson Augustus and former consul general Cosmos Cozier, along with many persons living in SVG who are holidaying in the US.

The mini models parading the various flags of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries and the teens displaying their national dress were a big hit with the audience. Mas costumes for the West Indian Labour Day parade were also displayed.

Arthur told SEARCHLIGHT that Starlift was unable to perform because the band members were unable to get a flight out of Barbados to get to New York in time for the event; she however, said that the band would have been in NY no later than Tuesday. Starlift will perform at Vee Jays restaurant today and at the Caton Flatbush market, where the vendors are primarily from the Caribbean, tomorrow, Saturday. They will also perform at Friends of Crown Heights Centre on September 7. Arthur also said that there will also be a J’ouvert band called Starlift.

Club St Vincent Inc is a nonprofit Vincentian organization, based in Brooklyn, NY. It started as a social gathering in the 1970s and began formalizing in 1980; it was incorporated in October 1985. The Cultural Exposition started in 1983 and was a yearly event until 1994 when it was changed to every two years making this year’s expo the ninth biennial.