Now that Haitian Heritage Month is over, it’s time we celebrate the rest of the islands in the Caribbean. June is National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, which honors the contributions of those with island roots – and there are a lot of them. Among them: founding father Alexander Hamilton who was born in St. Kitts and Nevis, reggae star Bob Marley of Jamaica, Bahamian-born actor Sydney Poitier and Haiti-born Jean Baptiste du Sable, who is credited with the founding of Chicago. And while a national observation – President Donald Trump issued a proclamation – nothing beats a Caribbean fete in South Florida, the closest point in the United States to Caribbean culture and cuisine.
So here are list of island-themed events to introduce you to the island life and some of the contributions of the Caribbean to America’s fabric.
CARIBBEAN AMERICAN HERITAGE AWARDS
This event recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to their community and/or country.
Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 9 at the DoubleTree By Hilton-Sawgrass, 13400 W Sunrise Blvd, Sunrise; 954-292-6848
Cost: General Admission, $80; preferred seating, $100.
UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES FETE
The University of the West Indies is turning 70 and the Florida Chapter of the UWI Alumni Association is celebrating.
Details: 8 p.m. June 9 at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church Hall 7801 NW 5th St. Plantation; 954-732-3882 or 954-242-2529
Cost: $35 at caribtix.com
TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN/CARIBBEAN305
Some of the Caribbean region’s top chefs and mixologists are in Miami to compete at the Taste of the Caribbean. And you can see what each of this year’s national teams has to offer as you enjoy the unlimited tapas style dishes and open bar from 17 Caribbean destinations.
Details: 7-10 p.m. June 23 at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami
Cost: $95, $125 www.eventbrite.com
Caribbean Village Festival is a family-friendly event featuring everything from arts and crafts, to a cook-off to soca, konpa and reggae, all in South Florida. The line-up, pulled from various Caribbean islands, includes Maxi Priest, Ky-Mani Marley, Alison Hinds, Kevin Lyttle, Majah Hype, Mikaben, Julien Believe and Shurwayne Winchester.
Details: 1 to 11 p.m. June 24 at Lauderhill Sports Park, 7500 W. Oakland Park, Lauderhill; 754-209-9928 or 203-514-4118
CARIBBEAN COMEDY NIGHT
Time to laugh with some island humor as Majah Hype, “The Caribbean King of Comedy,” hosts this event. Comedians include Rohan Gunter aka “Gunter Nah Laugh,” Nikki Crosby and Chris “Johnny” Daley.
Details: 8 p.m. June 29 at Miramar Cultural Center 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar
Cost: $35, $45, $60.
CARIBBEAN AMERICAN EXHIBITION & FESTIVAL
Celebrate Caribbean American culture with exhibits, health and wellness stations, and live music with the Caribbean American Exhibition & Festival.
Details: 4 p.m. June 30 at the Campus/Hall/Pavilion, Holy Sacrament, 2801 North University Dr., Pembroke Pines.
Cost: $10 per person in advance, kids 11 and under are free.