Miami Broward Carnival Open Letter

miami2

Dear Board of Directors of the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee

I can only begin by saying the following by the late Nelson Mandela;

mandela

 

2014 will mark the 30th consecutive year, Miami and Broward counties have played host to one of the largest Caribbean American Festivals in the nation.  The rash decision to change the date of the festival, not to Monday October 13, 2014, but an entire week later, clearly was not given much consideration.

miamicarnival1

I was once told by the Official Atlanta Peach Carnival Executive team, “You must respect the bands, you can not do Carnival without them”.  This word of advice has stayed etched in my mind, since 2005, and to this day, I believe it to be true.  The collaboration of the bands, troupes, artist, and carnival committee, is important to the survival of this cultural event. This historical change should’ve been address to the community, with feed back and input from the bands, troupes, and participants, prior to releasing or imposing a massive change of date.

It only angers the community, who has booked hotels, flights, and made other advance arrangements to attend the festival on Columbus Day weekend. An emergency meeting after the fact, also was not a good decision. It is evident, that based upon the NFL schedule for 2014, that Miami Carnival will not happen on October 12, 2014 at Sun Life Stadium.

Upon receiving this shocking news from the Sun Life Stadium, your organization, should have contacted an attorney, to simply draft a letter stating the reasons of this year’s change of venue. As a  minority, cultural, and historical organization, Sun Life Stadium can’t impose or impede on Miami Broward Carnival Committee civil rights, by federal law. Many are aware of Florida’s recent race and civil rights cases in the past two years; however the economic impact of the festival should have been motivation for your organization to move to a new venue.

“If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything”

Culture Come First, Politics Comes After

The Columbus Day Weekend is not only a major holiday for Italians, however serves as a major significant Jewish Holiday, especially in South Florida. It is my belief that the Jewish community will never change, compromise, or waiver from this date, which serves as a start to the Jewish holiday calendar. Although Miami Carnival is not a religious holiday, the significance of the date, is important.

It seems that your organization was clearly ill advised, in this hasty decision.  The committee role in this festival is not about money, fame, and politics. Miami Broward Carnival Committee, like every other Carnival Committee duty, is to serve the community first, to ensure the cultural integrity of this historical tradition.

I personally don’t celebrate Mas; however I enjoy attending the festival, much like the tens of thousands of attendees that enjoy the colorful costumes, people, food, and cultural experience.

I encourage your team to come together and simply work with the community, to make the 30th celebration and enjoyable one on October 12, 2014. Please stay committed to your own slogan, “North America’s Ultimate Carnival Experience “…  Unless it’s too late…..

NOTICE:

Broward Caribbean Carnival Inc. (BCCI) a Broward County Organization will host Carnival 2014 in Broward County.

The community outcry of the Carnival date change has forced BCCI to take immediate action in ensuring that Carnival continues to be celebrated in South Florida on Columbus Day weekend. as it has been celebrated over the last 29 years. At the request of many patrons, stakeholders, and masqueraders BCCI is securing a venue to host Carnival on October 12th, 2014 and continue a South Florida Tradition of Excellence in Mas.

Yours,

Broward Caribbean Carnival Inc.

UPDATE:

“Please note that the official Miami Broward Carnival will be held on Sunday, October 12. Please keep checking our website: www.miamibrowardcarnival.com for updated information about venue and other pertinent information about the 30th year celebration of Carnival in South Florida. Venue will be confirmed after a meeting on May 8, with bandleaders, promoters and other stakeholders in MBOC. Miami Broward Carnival Board of Directors and Bandleaders”

Respectfully,

Michael Thomas

Caribbean Media Network

3 Replies to “Miami Broward Carnival Open Letter”

  1. As President of BCCI and a founding member of "One Carnival" my signature is the one on an Event Management Agreement representing BCCI, as well as many other legal documents that led to this unity. However, when one continues to be trample over, and over and over again, even Martin Luther King would say "By all means keep on moving". We count on the community support and endorsement as well as that of many promoters, band leaders, and government officials. We will do everything in our power to ensure that all those that come to celebrate "Columbus Day Weekend' in South Florida celebrate to the fullest, and enjoy all of our festivities. The Culture of Carnival is bigger than all of us, and BCCI has only offered to be that entity that will continue to produce and ensure viable events and venue for all to enjoy. Amen, In God We Trust ! ! !