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It's Carib time: Caribbean fest is back at Coquitlam's Town Centre Park

The second Caribbean Days Festival in Coquitlam is on July 29 and 30, 2023.

Town Centre Park will be filled with colourful sights and sounds from the tropical isles for the second Caribbean Days Festival in Coquitlam.

Avita Sharma and Dharrol Alves, whose parents founded the annual celebration three decades ago in North Vancouver, are co-chairing the free two-day party by Lafarge Lake next weekend: July 29 and 30.

"This is a multi-generational festival," Sharma said, noting her kids are also helping the non-profit group build awareness around Caribbean culture in Metro Vancouver.

"This is very much a legacy and passion project for us."

For the 2023 bash, expected to draw up to 30,000 visitors, there will be double the number of food trucks than last year, vowed Marilyn Perrin, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of BC.

There will also be steelpan performers at the entrance for attendees to get into the musical vibe when they arrive and more cultural tents for guests to learn about the ways of life on Caribbean islands.

"We're building on the atmosphere from last year,” Perrin said, adding that the organization has received good support from the city.

Organizers are bringing in two headliners for the main stage: Steele, a reggae/R&B/soul artist, on July 29 and Ronnie McIntosh on July 30.

Born and raised in Jamaica, Steele is a Juno-nominated musician based in Toronto while McIntosh is a soca veteran entertainer with energetic beats.

Still, unlike last year, there won't be any Jamaican label Red Stripe offered; instead, servers will pour Carib suds from Trinidad.

As well, the time of the carnival parades through Town Centre Park has changed to start at 1:30 p.m to allow for more participants, Perrin said.

The Caribbean Days Festival, sponsored in part by the City of Coquitlam, runs July 29 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and July 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Tri-City News is a media sponsor.

Interested visitors are encouraged to take SkyTrain to the Lafarge Lake–Douglas station and walk 10 minutes to the park.

A bike valet is available. Limited vehicle parking is also in the park, along Pinetree Way or at the Douglas College campus (1250 Pinetree Way).

The Caribbean Days boat cruise, held the weekend before the festival, is now cancelled.

For more information, you can visit the Caribbean Days' website.

Main stage lineup

Saturday, July 29

  • 10 a.m.: DJ BJ John Edwards
  • 11 a.m.: Kaasa Jones
  • 12 p.m.: Opening ceremony
  • 1 p.m.: DJ BJ John Edwards
  • 1:30 p.m.: Multi-cultural parade
  • 2 p.m.: Mr. Fantastik
  • 3 p.m.: Devan and The Eastvan All Stars
  • 4 p.m.: Vancouver Soca Xperience
  • 4:15 p.m.: King Fish Clifford
  • 5 p.m.: X-Kalibre
  • 6 p.m.: Julio Avila Cuban Band
  • 7 p.m.: Out of Many-Cordell Pullar
  • 7:30 p.m.: Steele

Sunday, July 30

  • 10 a.m.: Carl Sound Vibes
  • 11 a.m.: Gisto and The Grateful Living
  • 12 p.m.: Amed Dance Academy
  • 12:30 p.m.: Sweet Pan
  • 1:30 p.m.: Children Parade
  • 2 p.m.: Maffie Alongside De Volcano
  • 3 p.m.: Tropical Breeze
  • 4 p.m.: Mostly Marley
  • 5 p.m.: Phase III Steelband
  • 6 p.m.: Ronnie McIntosh