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Caribbean festival defies rain, entertains crowds

Flags of various Caribbean nations were on display at the Caribbean Association of Georgia’s fifth annual Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Celebration at Clayton County International Park Saturday. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

Flags of various Caribbean nations were on display at the Caribbean Association of Georgia’s fifth annual Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Celebration at Clayton County International Park Saturday. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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McDonough youth Gardenia Ennis, 7, enjoys coconut water during the festival. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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A machete is used to cut into a coconut so the water in its center can be consumed. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Attendees trickled into the festival throughout the day despite rain that forced most of the festivities to be called off. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Dominican Atlanta Cultural Association President Ashken Dangleben buys a coconut from Rasdawett Selassie during the celebration. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Ital Lion Movement owner Rasdawett Selassie cuts sugar cane for a customer during the festival. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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King Danskie entertains crowds during the Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Celebration at Clayton County International Park Saturday. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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King Danskie gets down to the beat at the Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Celebration. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Marietta resident Mbele Konge shows off her dance moves while listening to Caribbean music at the celebration. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Marietta resident Mbele Konge waves a Jamaican flag while she enjoys herself at the celebration. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

JONESBORO — A little rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of residents who visited Clayton County International Park to experience Caribbean culture Saturday.

Although the weather washed out most of the first half of the Caribbean Association of Georgia’s fifth annual Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Celebration, vendors continued to sell food from the islands while a disc jockey played music and entertainers sang for attendees who stayed through the rain.

Organizers estimated about 3,500 attended the festival despite the rain. However, they had expected about 5,000 attendees.

“I’m not going to complain but it normally would be a better day if it wasn’t raining,” said Rasdawett Selassie, who sold coconuts and sugar cane for his company, Ital Lion Movements.

McDonough youth Gardenia Ennis said she particularly enjoyed eating some sugar cane sticks her family bought at the festival.

“I like it because it’s sweet and nice,” said Ennis.