I am enamored with the joyous celebration of carnival. It is a true embodiment of liberation and freedom. It brings about a rejuvenating sense of connecting with our ancestors and embracing the wonderful commonality that binds us across different cultures. In the month of June, I had the incredible opportunity to partake in the carnival festivities in both Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.
Before delving into my personal experiences, allow me to provide you with some background information on both of these remarkable carnivals. Both have a rich history spanning over a decade, with Charleston’s celebration proudly reaching its impressive 18th year. It is noteworthy to mention that during the summer of 2023, coinciding with the golden jubilee independence of the Bahamas, both carnivals chose to pay homage to the Bahamas and its vibrant culture.
In Columbia, South Carolina, the immensely talented Bodine Victoria brought to life the essence of the Bahamian islands through a captivating and distinctively Bahamian musical display. On the other hand, in Charleston, South Carolina, Carifest became a platform for the Bahamas to shine, with three extraordinary days dedicated to showcasing the Bahamian culture through engaging conversations, captivating music, and an enchanting atmosphere. The entire weekend was devoted to celebrating the Bahamas and its shared cultural heritage with the charming port city of Charleston.
As an added delight, we were graced with the presence of the esteemed Ambassador of the Bahamas, Sir Wendell Jones, alongside the esteemed Dr. Christopher Curry (Historian) and Bahamas Atlanta Council General Mr. Anthony Moss. These esteemed individuals added an extra layer of brilliance to an already extraordinary celebration.
In summary, my experiences at both the Columbia and Charleston carnivals during the month of June were nothing short of magical. The vibrant display of culture, the enticing beats of the music, and the unmistakable camaraderie created an atmosphere that truly celebrated the essence of carnival. It was an experience that left an indelible mark on my heart and served as a powerful reminder of the beauty and unity that can be found in embracing our shared heritage.
Charleston Carifest 2023