Taking on a new identity this past weekend, the Chamberlain Student Center was transformed into a festive arena of authentic Caribbean-style dancing, music, food and activities.
The Bacchanal Caribbean Carnival was co-sponsored by Rowan University’s SOCA, the Student Organization for Caribbean Awareness. The purpose of the club is to promote Caribbean culture for those of Caribbean descent and others who are interested, promote Caribbean culture on the Rowan campus and surrounding area according to the SOCA website.
Rowan After Hours (RAH) Graduate Coordinator Tom Marsella starts planning events like the Caribbean carnival as far back as November, he said in an interview.
“It’s really all about the participants and watching them enjoy it,” Marsella said.
The carnival featured activities such as a DIY ocean-style Mason jar workshop. Participants created their own mason jar using sand, seashells and ocean-like fabric provided by Rowan After Hours.
Performances included a steel pan band, Tajeva, singing and rapping, guitar and drum, spoken words and karaoke by The Young Picasso’s, as well as performances from Terri Brown, Sirweah, Elijah & Zeke and Shanara.
Shanara, a spoken word performer, competed in Rowan’s Got Talent last semester and won with one of her slam poetry pieces.
Amid their college tour, The Young Picasso’s opened as the first performance at the carnival. SOCA at Rowan provided the band, which is comprised of Jevaun Grant, Carlos Noel and Pete Bathelus, the gig because of the Caribbean influence in their music.
Grant’s authentic steel drum gives the rest of the group, Noel, the drummer, and Bathelus, the pianist, a Caribbean sound to vibe with, according to the band.
“The reason that we call ourselves the Young Picasso’s is because we feel like our music makes art,” said Bathelus, a 23-year-old Rutgers University alumnus from Elizabeth, New Jersey.
RAH staff helped set up and clean up the event. Staff member Christy Noccius.explained that the carnival had a great vibe this year.
“I just love the performances,” said Noccius, a senior with a dual major in elementary education and literary studies. Noccius also has desires for more students to come out to RAH events.
The next major RAH event coming up is the RAH Capella event featuring the Filharmonic, an all-male a cappella group that was featured in “Pitch Perfect 2.”
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