In 1999, my friend Ms. Patricia James decided to keep our culture alive in the minds of children of Caribbean parentage who were born in America. She went to radio station WEAA and announced her intention. Two sisters answered her call in this venture. This started the first kiddies carnival, which was held at Old Court Middle Elementary Technology School in Randallstown. The name they gave themselves is Children of All Nations.
Since its inception, membership has grown. We meet once a month for meetings and to plan events. Our carnival is held the first weekend in July. We are not affiliated with the Baltimore Caribbean Parade, which is the weekend after the kiddies carnival.
One year, the school had to be renovated, so the kiddies carnival was moved to Scotts Level Valley Stream Park on Allenswood Road, Randallstown.
On the day of the carnival, the kids march in their costumes to the music played by a DJ in a little area of the park. A nurse, Ms. Denise Daniel, (Past President of the Trinidad And Tobago Association), volunteers her time and expertise. Along with Ms. Denise, a group of men – husbands, sons and friends of members – also volunteer.
We would love to see more children take part in the carnival. You do not have to be from the Caribbean to be a member of Children of All Nations. Anyone interested in becoming a member will be welcome. It is our hope that one of the young members will “accept the torch” from Ms. Pat when she is ready to pass it on.