LEIMERT PARK — Natives of the Central American country of Belize took over Leimert Park July 7 for the annual Belize Caye Fest.
Cultural artists and musicians showed off their talent with speakers blasting the sounds of soca, samba and hip-hop.
Performers included Nicole Nicole Kimbrough, A Taste of Paradise Band and Inglewood hip-hop twin duo Cam and Chyna. Popular food selections included LoveBucketVegan, Baba’s Vegan Cafe and Chef Kahil Sadiq.
Sir Colville Young, the governor general of Belize, made a special appearance and walked 43rd Street, greeting business owners, local leaders and families. He declined to comment but kept a smile on his face.
Festival volunteer Evaralda Gallego-Forman said, “This is one of the longest running cultural events being promoted and produced by Belizeans. It first started at Rancho La Cienega Park. That was one of the first times they ever did the event, and its been continuous.
“This year it’s back in its original area. We’re blessed to have it in this neighborhood, we’re thankful for the Leimert Park people in support of this event. We thank everyone for coming out and hope to see you guys next year, again.”
Mom Made By Shiela, store owner Shiela Ramclam Fisher said, “This festival is the celebration of Belizean people. We are all over the world, everywhere. It’s a gathering to come together, be one, see one another. We’re here in L.A. and we don’t really see each other. So it’s a celebration of being together and expressing our cultures.”
Los Angeles resident Myrdle Ali came with her family who originate from Dangriga, Belize.
“We came for the lovely people, the music, the food, the clothing, the souvenirs. And just a different culture of black people, and I love black people,” she said.
Artist Brittany Simon said, “I’m here today to vend my art. I’m also here to come and support and meet other people that’s vending and connect, barter and buy products from other vendors. Leimert Park means everything to me. I love it here because it’s a lot of unity, a lot of people of color coming together celebrating and also supporting each other. I love Leimert Park”
The event was sponsored by Belize Music World, Radio Belize Mix, Luxury City Entertainment, Twin World Travel, SelFactualizeMe, TEA TIME, Spaced Out Studio, Ras Khattuce.
By Kristina Dixon