LIMA — Errol Corbin, who now lives in South Carolina, originally came to Lima in 1969 from the Caribbean to work as a welder at the SOHIO Refinery.
He was one of the original attendees of the Caribbean American Festival 26 years ago.
The event started as more of a family reunion.
“The guys just came out on a Saturday evening, about four or five guys, but then from there we had this idea, why don’t we have something like a family thing,” said Coleman.
“The next year, we invited more family to come out and we had a picnic and then every year after that it started growing bigger and bigger. It’s all about love. It’s all about community, giving back to the people and being thankful for what you have here in Lima.”
Remembering where you came from is important to Corbin.
“It’s very important to know your culture. They have a saying, ‘If you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you’re going.’ So, it is very important to keep culture alive,” said Corbin.
Chris Henderson, a talented Lima musician, helped develop the musical feel of the event with plenty of soca music.
“This festival is about love, peace, harmony, family, the children, soca music, Caribbean American Festival mashup. It’s a mesh of our culture and my mom’s culture, coming together as one,” said Henderson.
There was also plenty of Caribbean food including dishes like Stew Chicken, Pigeon Peas, Macaroni Pies, Curry Chicken, Pelau, Pink Roti, Curry Goat, Accra and Pholovrie/Chutney.
Nicole Corbin is part of the next generation that will be taking over the Caribbean American Festival, which until recently, not too many people were aware of.
“The reason why you may not have heard it is because it’s just now beginning to become public as the second generation is taking over. It comes from family, so they started to try and do a little crowd control because we do feed the community so there’s the older generation, the first generation that, you know, that labor of love over the stove, they do all of that. We don’t get any sponsorship, we don’t get any additional hands or anything, we do this as a family of first and second-generation so that’s why it’s becoming a little more public now,” said Nicole Corbin.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.