Carnival: The Caribbean Experience is a recognition and celebration of the many cultures across the 13 nations and 700 islands of the Caribbean. These events center Caribbean students throughout planning and execution, while introducing the larger Dartmouth community to the food, music, and movement of Caribbean culture through social connection.
This year's theme, Carnival: The Caribbean Experience, recognizes that there is no one way to celebrate Carnival. From J'ouvert or "break day" in Jamaica at the beginning of Lent to Crop Over in the summer on Barbados or to one of the many other celebrations, each country and each island has a unique take on Carnival. Students have worked hard to bring their experiences of Carnival to life right here in Hanover. This year's Carnival events were held on Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th.
The first event of the weekend was held on Friday, April 15th, a Caribbean Grab and Go Food event. The Grab and Go Food event took place on the Collis Patio from 3-5pm and students, staff and faculty were able to receive some authentic Caribbean treats along with a few food options catered by local restaurant, The Karibbean. We saw a few friendly faces throughout the event, including Interim Dean of the College, Scott Brown who took some time to sit and talk with a few groups of students. This event allowed for some socializing among students as well as for members of the Carnival Planning Committee to inform students of the events planned for the next day.
The second event planned for the weekend was an all-day event with various activities and performances. The Carnival Planning Committee planned a Carnival Day and J'Ouvert for Saturday April 16th from 11am-5pm. Though weather was in between sunny skies and expected clouds, the food, music, and vibes were fantastic as the scheduled rain for the day held off. Students started arriving around 11:30am where the day began with a performance by Dartmouth's very own Ujima Dance Troupe.
After Ujima's performance students were able to decorate their faces with decorative face gems and grab Carnival-inspired headpieces. Tables throughout Shabazz Tent were stocked with flags representing various Caribbean and Latin American countries, as well as free takeaways for students like phone rings, beads, notepads, and whistles. A large assortment of food from The Karibbean was served by volunteers and staff, ranging from soups, cod fish fritters, chicken and beef patties, cole slaw, chickpeas, plantains, rice and beans, and the crowd favorite, jerk chicken. Attendees were also met with additional snacks and treats from the previous day's event as well as a large variety of Caribbean beverages.
In addition to our student performers, there was a Soca fitness workshop held by Krista Martins, founder of Wukkout! It's safe to say that the food from the event was burned off a little during the workshop in Shabazz Basement.
After the workout session, K.I.T Caribbean Connection, a steel pan based in New York, performed as students returned outside to the Shabazz tent. While the band played, many students decorated tshirts with customized stencils and fabric paint and were also lucky enough to grab a to-go box of food to take back to their dorms.
Overall, both events were great and we can't wait to see what's in store for next year's Caribbean Carnival! A special thank you to SPEC (The Special Planning and Events Committee) for sponsoring this event. Raffles and Giveaways will be conducted through the Carnival Committee so stay tuned!