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Reggae, dancehall and soca artists headline The Caribbean Food and Rum Festival in Hollywood this weekend.

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 12/11/2021 Rod Stafford Hagwood, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

You can’t keep a good festival down.

The Caribbean Food and Rum Festival will finally get its long-awaited reboot on Sunday, Dec. 12, after COVID-19 caused a delay from the original Labor Day weekend date.

The good news is that not only have there been some added features for foodies, but the lineup of reggae and soca stars have all been rebooked for the new date and will take the stage at the event in downtown Hollywood’s ArtsPark at Young Circle between 3-10 p.m.

In the spotlight for this, the seventh edition, will be:

  • Jamaican reggae-fusion band Third World
  • Jamaican dancehall and reggae artist Barington Levy
  • Barbados-based, British-born Bajan soca artist Alison Hinds
  • Trinidadian soca artist Patrice Roberts
  • Barbadian Calypso artist Peter Ram
  • Bahamian Junkanoo/soca fusion artist Julien Believe

The music

“Growing up in Jamaica, music was part of your culture,” explains Lindell Douglas, CEO of CaribVille Entertainment, which produces the festival. “I was born and baptized in music.”

Douglas says he wants to include different genres of music into the relaunched event (because of the pandemic, the festival was eschewed instead for a dinner soirée in 2020).

“We’re going to surprise people. They think [Caribbean festivals] are only reggae and soca and we’re going to show them that’s not true. We like blues and R&B and country. Where we grew up we have appreciation of all types of music, so you’re going to hear some reggae, some soca, some country and maybe we’ll throw some Latin in there, too.”

Originally the fête was known as the Caribbean Village Festival when, in previous years, it was staged in Lauderhill and then Miramar. Back then the festival was a part of Caribbean Heritage Month in June.

The food and drinks

Like those days when the festival was closely linked to Caribbean Heritage Month, island cuisine is a large part of the event.

And for this production, Douglas — who is also a Plantation-based financial advisor — has added some additional food and beverage experiences to on top of what was originally planned for the postponed Labor Day weekend date.

“We’ve added two new things,” he explains. “There is a Taste Pavilion where you go around with a shot glass with our logo on it, that each person gets to take home, and you sample different rums and liqueurs. And there will be some food from the food vendors, just like you’re in a mall walking around and you get to sample bites from little trays.”

He’s also added bars where signature drinks will be served from Caribbean nations Grenada, Haiti, Barbados, the Bahamas and the U.S Virgin Islands

“And there’s a vodka from the U.S Virgin Islands, from St. Croix, where the vodka is made from breadfruit.” adds Douglas.

Of course he’s als bringing back the food trucks and cooking demonstrations.

“But we’ll also have four chefs who will create something called [in the] CaribVille Café,” Douglas says. “The chefs are from Haiti, Trinidad, Jamaica, the Bahamas. You pay one price and go into a tent and sample four [small plate] dishes from four different Caribbean islands.”

He adds, “We really want to give the patrons an experience to wow them. We want them to feel they really got value for [their] money.”

If you go info

The Caribbean Food and Rum Festival will take place from 3-10 p.m. Dec. 12 in ArtsPark at Young Circle, 1 N. Young Circle, Hollywood.

Tickets are:

  • General admission tickets are $60 in advance ($80 at the gate)
  • You can add the CaribVille Café experience for an additional $25
  • The VIP Lounge Experience is $175 in advance ($250 at the gate)
  • The VVIP Lounge is $335 and cabanas (seat 8 people) is $2,000

To order or for more information, go to CaribbeanVillage.net.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Douglas’ Galleon Foundation, which hands out scholarships to disadvantaged students and Florida A&M University’s Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI).

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