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Caribbean Week 2006 Brings Everything Caribbean To The Big Apple With Consumer Festivites Set For June 11-17, 2006

New Yorkers will once again be able to experience the sights, sounds, colors, culture and unique vacation attributes of the Caribbean region when Caribbean Week 2006 converges on New York, June 11-17, 2006, for the annual weeklong series of Caribbean consumer-focused events, vacation specials and business meetings.
Arranged by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Caribbean Week 2006 features events highlighting Caribbean fashion, food, entertainment and two Caribbean weddings! The week culminates with the black-tie 33rd Annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Sunday, June 11, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
CARIBBEAN GOSPELFEST
Hanson Place United Methodist Church
144 St. Felix Street, Brooklyn

The inaugural Caribbean Gospelfest is the first concert of Caribbean Week 2006 York 2006. Hanson Place United Methodist Church in Brooklyn is the venue for this paid gospel music event. The concert will feature long-time favorites and current star performers from the Caribbean including Wendy Mitchell and Wayne Johnson (Trinidad and Tobago); Hopeton Lewis and Joan Myers (Jamaica); Joseph Niles (Barbados); Cora Williamson (Guyana); Harrella Goodwin (Montserrat); Janice Charles (Grenada), Miriam Drakes (St. Lucia). Opening acts by a selection of talented young performers will give audiences a peek at the stars of the future.
Sunday, June 11
CELEBRITY CRICKET MATCH
Details to be finalized

The Celebrity Cricket Match will feature matches between local cricket league players from the tri-state area competing against an invitational team from the Caribbean. The event is being organized in collaboration with local leagues, and is expected to attract spectators who are nationals of many cricket-playing nations.

Monday, June 12, through Friday, June 16
Caribbean Celebrity Chefs
Various Locations

Renowned chefs from world-class resorts of the Caribbean will be in town to spice up the city with Caribbean flair and flavors. These Celebrity Chefs will prepare distinctive Caribbean dishes at prestigious locations whose customers match the profile of potential Caribbean vacationers. From Monday to Friday, June 12-16, Celebrity Chefs will conduct in-store cooking demonstrations at Bloomingdale’s (located at 59th Street), Williams-Sonoma (Time Warner Center) and Macy’s Herald Square (June 13, 15 and 16). Customers will sample exotic Caribbean dishes and collect valuable tips on choosing the destination that’s just right for any occasion. The Celebrity Chefs will be featured at New York City restaurants, the United Nations Delegates Dining Room, the Caribbean Media Marketplace, the Caribbean Fair, and the 33rd Annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball.

Monday, June 12, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Town Hall Meetings
Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn

The Town Hall Meetings at Medgar Evers College provide an opportunity for visiting Caribbean tourism ministers to interact with their New York-based constituents in discussions led by popular moderators. Audiences will be comprised of a cross-section of Caribbean nationals including young adults keen on entering the tourism profession. Each participating country will provide the latest details of its tourism efforts and vacation offerings.

Tuesday, June 13, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Caribbean Fair
South Street Seaport, New York City

The venue for this popular event will be Piers 16 and 17 of New York City’s historic South Street Seaport. Throughout the day attendees at the Caribbean Fair will experience various aspects of the Caribbean by visiting individual country booths for promotional materials, indigenous products, arts and crafts, food samples prepared by Celebrity Chefs, and a variety of alluring vacation offers. Governments and private sector members of the CTO support the participation of dancers, models, singers and bands, who perform on stage throughout the day.
Providing consumers with Caribbean vacation specials, the Caribbean Vacation Mart is a new feature of the Fair. Travel professionals will be onsite to assist the public with purchasing specially-priced vacation packages to the more than 30 Caribbean countries in the region. Prices are valid only through the duration of Caribbean Week 2006
Dignitaries and senior Caribbean tourism officials will attend the Publishers Presentation Lunch from 12:30-2:00 pm. Attendance at the luncheon, which is sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine, is by invitation only.
Caribbean ministers and directors of tourism, along with New York City and State officials and private sector strategic partners will be at the Fair for the Flag Raising Ceremony and Presentation of Proclamations.
Caribbean Week 2006 will host two Caribbean Weddings. During the Fair, the first wedding will take place on stage at noon and the second wedding will be at 4:00 pm. The Caribbean Weddings are sponsored by the Condé Nast Bridal Group. The two lucky couples exchanging vows at the Fair will each receive a romantic Caribbean honeymoon to destination of their choice.

Wednesday, June 14, 9:00 am – 1:30 pm
Caribbean Marketing Workshop and Awards Luncheon
New York Marriott Marquis Hotel

The 13thAnnual Caribbean Marketing Workshop and Awards Luncheon, arranged by the allied members of the CTO, features a workshop for public and private sector tourism officials and awards luncheon sponsored by American Express Publishing, New York Magazine and the Jamaica Tourist Board. Awards that are presented include “The Jerry,” “The Marcia Vickery Wallace Travel Journalism Award,” and “The Marcella Martinez Award.” An additional highlight of the awards luncheon is a celebrity guest speaker.

Wednesday, June 14, 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Media Marketplace
New York Marriott Marquis Hotel

Media Marketplace attracts journalists from a wide range of travel media and provides CTO-member governments, the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and private sector exhibitors the opportunity to interact with writers and photographers from the trade and consumer press. Media Marketplace is used to arrange interviews with representatives of both the print and electronic media eager to know what’s new and different for 2006. Following the Media Marketplace, attendees will enjoy a Caribbean cocktail party featuring prizes, music and delicious delights prepared by the visiting Celebrity Chefs.

Friday, June 16, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
CTO Press Conference
New York Marriott Marquis Hotel

The CTO Press Conference will take place at the New York Marriott Marquis at 2:00 pm and includes comments on the status of Caribbean tourism, highlights emerging from Caribbean Week 2006 and the 8th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (taking place April 25-29 in Puerto Rico). Details about the 29th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC-29) and other upcoming events will be released. The press conference will feature remarks by Hon. Pamela C. Richards, chairman of the CTO and commissioner of tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary general of CTO.

Friday, June 16, 7:00 pm – midnight
33rd Annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball, and Awards Presentation
Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue, Manhattan

Fine food, fashion and fun will highlight the 33rd Annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball. The Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom will host the elegant black-tie affair on Friday, June 16, 2006. The Ball features the finest in Caribbean food and entertainment. Visiting Celebrity Chefs assist with the preparation of menu items. The lucky couples of the Caribbean Weddings will be invited to the Ball and honored with the “first dance.” Highlights of the event will be the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Innovation in Tourism Award. Tickets, advertising opportunities and special sponsorship packages for the Ball may be obtained by contacting CTO’s New York office at 212-635-9530. Proceeds from the Ball will benefit the CTO Foundation.

Saturday, June 17, 8:00 pm
Brooklyn Reggae

Brooklyn Reggae presents another in its series of Caribbean entertainment and lifestyle shows in New York City. This event promotes aspects of Caribbean culture through music, fashion, art, spoken word, and food and features a series of live performances by talented Caribbean artists telling the tales behind their music in an intimate setting. For more information on Brooklyn Reggae, visit www.brooklynreggae.com. Brooklyn Reggae is one of the public events occurring during Caribbean Week 2006 but not created nor produced by the CTO

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Written by Staff Writer