The first-ever Afro-Caribbean Festival will be held in downtown Red Deer this weekend.
The African Caribbean Centre of Central Alberta is set to host the inaugural event at Veteran’s Park and Ross Street Patio on Ross Street, between 50 Avenue and 49 Avenue, on Saturday, Aug. 12 and Sunday, Aug. 13.
There will be a variety of activities and entertainment performing on two main stages at the event, including live music and a fashion show, as well as vendors, children’s games at City Hall Park and more.
“It’s going to be an amazing weekend,” said Zainab Mohamoud, founder and executive director of the African Caribbean Centre of Central Alberta.
The centre hosted an indoor Afro-Caribbean cultural event in November 2022 – tickets for that event were sold out. Hosting a big outdoor festival was a goal when the organization was first created, Mohamoud noted.
“It’s really exciting to see this event happening. We put in 100 per cent of our resources to make this happen,” she said.
“Edmonton and Calgary have this kind of public event, but not everybody can afford to take the whole family to Edmonton or Calgary for the whole weekend. Bringing this type of event to Red Deer makes sure people don’t have to travel and for the community can get to know the African Caribbean community and celebrate culture – it really brings people together.”
Mohamoud said an event like this can bring people of all cultures closer together.
“This is showing that we are a community and we can celebrate our unique cultures. … This started out as a dream and it’s becoming a reality. There are so many individuals and organizations who are part of this event,” said Mohamoud.
“Having this event really helps people feel like they belong to the community and their culture can be celebrated. We also have so many local people who can showcase their talent and share that with the Red Deer and Central Alberta community.”
The festival will run from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday – an afterparty will be held at Elks Hall from 9 p.m. to midnight. Then on Sunday, the event will run from noon to 6 p.m.
The goal is to have 10,000 people attend both days of the event.
For more information, visit www.accoca.ca.