On August 25, 1991, the Caribbean Festival Committee (“CFC”) presented the 5th Annual Caribbean Festival at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Attendance for the day exceeded 50,000. It turned out as one of the most successful events to take place at Penn’s Landing for the year. Since the Festival’s inception, the Committee has focused on exposing the greater Delaware Valley to the beauty and culture of the various islands and creating an awareness of the great contributions people of the Caribbean have made, and are still making to the world, and to the Philadelphia and surrounding community. CFC is a central part of the Social and Cultural Committee of the Caribbean/American Association of Pennsylvania, Inc. (“CAP”), a non-stock corporation, incorporated in the State of Delaware.
The success of the Festival resulted from the efforts and tenacity of the formed “Caribbean Festival Committee.” CFC, which formerly comprised of representatives from participating islands of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago, was later joined by St. Kitts and Grenada in 1992. In 1993, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands came aboard. Additionally, we now have Guyana, Panama, Bahamas and St. Lucia aboard, for an aggregate of thirteen (13) islands. Honorable citations were presented in 1991 and 1992 to the Committee, from the late State Representative David P. Richardson, in recognition of CFC’s hard work and achievement, and also commendations and notations from current Mayor, John F. Street, State Representative John White, State Senator Hardy Williams, Jr. and from the Honorable Edward G. Rendell, former Mayor of the City of Philadelphia and the current Governor of Pennsylvania, for CFC’s contribution to cultural awareness in Philadelphia.
Proceeds obtained from the annual events are used for charitable undertakings, such as awarding scholarships to Caribbean and Caribbean/American students, attending two-year or four-year colleges; aid to fund-raising hurricane victims; burnt out victims, and bereavement support in the Caribbean/American community.
The proceeds are derived from the sale of raffle tickets, t/shirts, Souvenirs, and the sale of vending spaces. To date, CFC has awarded over 170 Scholarships to Caribbean and Caribbean/American students, namely, from Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Thomas, UVI, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten (Netherlands, Antilles), St. Vincent & The Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago, and Nevis (St. Kitts).
The Festival continues to be a family-oriented event, is always free to the public, and all members of the Festival Committee are unpaid volunteers.