News Release - Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall Kicks-off Caribbean-American Heritage Month in Rochester

City of Rochester

News Release

(Monday, June 2, 2014) – Officials at City Hall today welcomed Fitzroy Crosdale, Secretary of the Rochester Jamaican Organization and Norma Thom, Executive Board Member of the Rochester West Indian Festival Organization to kickoff Caribbean-American Heritage Month in Rochester with a flag raising ceremony and celebration. A Mayoral Proclamation was made declaring "Caribbean-American Heritage Appreciation Month" in Rochester and sixteen flags from Caribbean nations are hung from the third floor of the City Hall Atrium, 30 Church Street, and will be on display through the month of June.

In 2006, legislation was passed to designate June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month to celebrate the history and culture of Caribbean Americans with ceremonies and activities.

“Rochester includes people of a wide variety of cultural, national and ethnic backgrounds that add vibrancy to our city,” said Mayor Warren. “Rochester’s Caribbean-American community has grown over the decades—enriching all aspects of our community life, including the arts, athletics, education, commerce and industry—and we look forward to the many events to celebrate these contributions during Caribbean-American Heritage Month and throughout the summer as well.”

The Rochester West Indian Festival Organization Inc. (RWIFO) and the Rochester Jamaican Organization Inc. (RJO) have planned a series of events across the city featuring Caribbean music, films, food and culture and will honor Americans of Caribbean descent as well as distinguished Caribbean nationals living in Rochester. 

Activities scheduled this month include a film series, a community health fair, a Father’s day luncheon and an Annual Caribbean-American mass at St. Monica’s Church. A closing ceremony and reception will be held in the Atrium of City Hall, 30 Church Street, on Thursday, June 26 at 5:30 p.m. featuring a sampling of traditional Caribbean foods and a musical performance by Alfred St. John’s Trinidad & Tobago Steelband. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information and a full schedule of events, contact the Rochester Jamaican Organization at 234-2119 or visit, or call the Rochester West Indian Festival Organization at 234-0909 or visit

Celebrations continue into the summer with a gala hosted by the Rochester Jamaican Organization on July 25 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel to celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.

In addition, a town hall meeting will be held on July 26, hosted in the City Hall Atrium, followed by a church service at Genesee Baptist Church on July 27. The Honorable Herman Lamont, Consul General of Jamaica to New York, will be in attendance.

The Rochester West Indian Festival Organization will invite the community to enjoy Caribbean music, arts and crafts, food and family activities at the 30th Anniversary Carifest Caribbean Festival and Parade on Saturday, August 9. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at the Liberty Pole and the festival runs from 1 to 10 p.m. at the Riverside Festival Site at Court Street and Exchange Boulevard.


News Media: For more information, contact Communications Director Christine Christopher at 428-7135.