Thousands of fun loving Jamaicans, some journeying from as far as Atlanta, Florida, Toronto and Jamaica made the trek to Lake Quassy, Rt. 64 in Middlebury, Connecticut for the 11th annual Merritone Family Funday and what a fantastic summer soiree it was!
“This year certainly ranks as one of our biggest year yet” an ecstatic Conroy Allison said after the event.
“With record high gasoline prices that has slowed travel in the US this summer and the economy being what it is, we had to expand our marketing efforts and dig deep in our reserves to ensure we had a bumper crowd this year” he noted.
Allison lauded event sponsors, Royal Caribbean Bakery, Western Union, Cox Nissan, VP Records for their continued support; the local police department, the Lake Quassy support staff and his own production team for the “fantastic” job they provided this year.
Irwine Clare – founder and CEO of Team Jamaica Bickle – and his family (wife Karen, daughter Kayla and son Irwine, Jr.) were on hand to accept the 3rd annual Caribbean American Family of the Year Appreciation Award’ which was presented to the family by the maestro, Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake.
“My family and I are indeed delighted and very humbled to be recognized by The Merritone Family Fun Day organization as the Family of the Year” Clare told the gathering.
“The reputation of this organization is demonstrative of a historical legacy that is forever a part of the Jamaican landscape, especially here in the diaspora. Kudos to the organizers who had the vision and the tenacity to bring families together in this format for the past eleven years” he said.
Highlights of the day were standout performances by crooner Boris Gardiner and Nadine Sutherland who both delivered stellar performances. Gardiner, who in 1986 delivered the million seller, “I Want to Wake Up With You, graced the stage after 5pm and immediately had the entire park singing and dancing to “I Wanna Wake Up With You, “It’s so nice to be with you,” “I Beg Your Pardon” and “You are Every Thing to Me,” favorites he served up during his 45 minute set. He was invited for a well earned encore and closed with “Commanding Wife” that brought a fitting climax to a solid performance.
Earlier Sutherland worked the crowd with “Action,” “Baby Face,” “Big Tingz” and a medley of vintage R&B hits that included the timeless classic “Reasons.”
This year’s ‘Family Fun Day’ also featured the ‘Royal Caribbean Bakery Patty Eating Contest, rides for children and the “Tri-State Knockout Domino Competition.” This year’s kiddies dance competition was the best yet and was well received by patrons who were entertained by the youngsters who danced up a storm.
Dj Roy and Stretch from Road International and perennial favorite Merritone, featuring Winston Blake kept patrons grooving with timeless music all day.