The Pan-African Caribbean Association is celebrating Black History Month on Feb. 28 at the North Peace Cultural Centre.
It promises to be a night of celebration that organizer and association President Panebi Oboh said will introduce Fort St. Johners to the sights, sounds and tastes of Africa and the Caribbean.
“It’s a chance to learn about Africa and Africans and the Caribbeans. We are fun-loving people,” said Oboh.
It’s something that the association has put on nearly every year for the past five years, with food, a fashion show, and a silent auction. This is the first time that the group is having a band come and play.
The entertainment, Calysto Steelband, is coming from Calgary to play reggae, calypso and mento music.
Panebi said they usually get around 100 people out, but is hoping to see more this year. It isn’t free, but the funds from ticket sales will go towards paying the expenses for the event.
Members are bringing in cuisine from Nigeria, Ghana, the Caribbean, Morocco and Senegal. Oboh said that the food was a big hit, “especially with people from Fort St. John, because we don’t have African restaurants here. It’s something different from what they are used to ... it's different so they love it.”
She added that those who’ve experienced it before always ask if there’s going to be food again this year.
There’s also a fashion show that will explain some of the traditional clothes from their home countries. “Our outfits, people think is a costume,” she said. “It’s not a costume, it’s something you wear on a regular day,” she said.
The party isn’t just for those who want to learn more about African culture, but to attract newcomers in Fort St. John to the association. “We are hoping that with this program we are able to attract them,” she said.
The association is part of other Energetic City activities. They have a booth set up for Canada Day and Relay for Life, and come out for the city’s Pitch-In Day.
The Black History Month event is the biggest of the year for the society.