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Caribbean Fest ready to Stir It Up this weekend in Maple Ridge

Launch takes place downtown the evening of Thursday, July 28
The Caribbean Festival takes place this weekend at the Albion Fairgrounds. (The News files)

Rhythms and flavours of the Caribbean will be emanating from the Albion Fairgrounds this weekend as the 22nd annual Caribbean Festival makes its return.

With some minor tweaks to the musical acts, organizer Deddy Geese, is ready to welcome residents of the Lower Mainland and beyond to the fairgrounds for a weekend of reggae, soca, steel drums, Cuban salsa, and African reggae fusion.

The official launch party, taking place Thursday, July 28, from 6-9 p.m. at the bandstand in Memorial Peace Park, will feature the steel drum band Sweet Pan will be taking to the stage from 6-7 p.m., followed by Venezuelan folk band Grupo Asi-Somos from 7-8 p.m..

However, from 8-9 p.m., reggae band Mosaic Riddim has been replaced by Maple Ridge based reggae band Roots Reflexion.

Mosaic Riddim will instead be kicking off the festival on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the fairgrounds along Jim Robson Way, followed by Sweet Pan, Roots Reflection, Marrie and the Volcano Band, Boomdaddy, and Ezra Kwizera.

Emcee will be Daniel Joseph.

Headliner Motown band Hitsville USA will take to the stage at 7:30 p.m. and Geese is expecting a big draw.

“It’s the type of genre that attracts any kind of an age group,” said Geese of the headliner, adding that the last time they played in 2019, they were extremely popular.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge Caribbean Fest back

ALSO: Caribbean Fest moving to Albion Fairgrounds

Then on Sunday XKalibre will kick off the event, followed by Out of Many, Kingfish, Mostly Marley, Gisto and the Grateful Living, Tropical Breeze, Carl Soundvibes, with Phase 3 closing off the festival.

“The Sunday schedule from about 4 p.m. onwards, everything will be a dance party off the Caribbean stage with some very entertaining musicians and groups,” said Geese. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

There will be three misting stations set up to keep people cool over the weekend.

“Where people can walk through, get wet, and get refreshed,” said Geese.

There will also be plenty of tents to seek shelter from the sun.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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