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Photos: Caribbean Days transform Coquitlam into island paradise

Visitors immersed themselves with Caribbean culture, music and dance as the annual festival shifted to Town Centre Park for summer 2022.

When the steel pan drums take centre stage, how can you not resist the urge to get up and dance?

The Caribbean Days Festival arrived in Coquitlam's Town Centre Park this past weekend, whisking hundreds of visitors on an island experience that included music, dance, food, market vendors, colourful photo-ops and other cultural activities.

It celebrated a historic diversity, of which the Tri-Cities has many notable connections.

This includes as the late Percy Perry, a Trinidadian and track and field coach from Coquitlam whose name is on the Town Centre Park stadium, and the late Port Coquitlam mayor Len Traboulay, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago.

Caribbean Days is rated one of the top 15 festivals in Metro Vancouver, based on attendance.

The two-day event moved to Coquitlam this summer after 32 years in North Vancouver.

This was the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of BC's first festival in two years following cancellations stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're just really happy to be here," said Marilyn Perrin, society president.

"It’s such a nice feeling to feel so welcome in the City of Coquitlam."

As well, a three-on-three basketball tournament took place for youth aged 10 to 16.

TD Community Plaza featured an array of talented musicians specializing in Soca, Reggae, Calypso, Latin, African and other international sounds.

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