The festival was originally established as a standing committee of the West Indian Social Club of Hartford, Inc. in 1962 to highlight the independence of the various Caribbean nations. Since then, the festival continues to be one of the highlights of the summer activities in Hartford, Connecticut. The participating nations include: Haiti (1804); Dominican Republic (1844); Cuba (1902); Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago (1962); Guyana and Barbados (1966); The Bahamas (1973); Grenada (1974); Suriname (1975); Dominica (1978); Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1979); Belize, Antigua and Barbuda (1981); and St. Kitts and Nevis (1983).
Client Since 1995
The organization was incorporated May 24, 2000 as the West Indian Celebration Committee, Inc. and officially became a separate, independent entity. On November 1, 2007, the name was amended and the organization became known as the West Indian Independence Celebrations, Inc.
Client Since 1995
The week-long celebration traditionally kicks off the second week of August and concludes on the second Saturday of the month with a street parade and music festival. The parade features floats, steel pan music, dance teams, stilt walkers, drill teams, marching bands; and masqueraders displaying brilliant and elaborate costumes influenced by the costumes seen at carnival celebrations in the Caribbean.
Client Since 1995
Time for the Historical Perspective
The Starting Point
The WIIC is established as a standing committee of the West Indian Social Club of Hartford, Inc. to highlight the independence of the various Caribbean nations. Back then the event was marked by a street parade featuring floats, marching bands and queens and cricket and domino competitions. The event concluded with a formal ball which was held at various venues around the city.
Caribbean American Society of Hartford, Inc; Jamaica Progressive League, Trinidad and Tobago American Society – Hartford chapter, St. Lucia American Society of Hartford, Sportsmen Athletic Club, Caribbean Ladies Cultural Club of Hartford, Guyanese American Cultural Club and the Barbados American Society is cited in this 1994 article from the Hartford Courant as the member organizations that made up the Celebration committee.
Caribbean Carnival Connections, Inc.
Caribbean Carnival Connections, Inc. is formed. In 1997 the group partners with the committee to add more Caribbean carnival flair to the street parade.
The committee is incorporated with the State of Connecticut as West Indian Celebration Committee, Inc. That same year, a group known as Hartford Carnival Association was also incorporated in the state of Connecticut but was dissolved November of that year.
Connecticut International Cultural Carnival Association, Inc (CICCA) is incorporated in the State of Connecticut. The organization remains a partner with the Celebration committee.
Name amended to West Indian Independence Celebrations, Inc.
Parade Direction Change
Parade was reversed and flowed from North Main Street in the north-end of Hartford to downtown Hartford.
Bushnell Park Concert
First music concert following the street parade is held in Bushnell Park
Media Release & Event Notice
You may be photographed at any WIIC Hartford event for West Indian Independence Celebration, Inc's promotional purposes. These event photos may be used at WIIC Hartford’s discretion for promotional purposes without your specific written consent and/or without compensation.
You must be 21 or older with valid ID to consume alcohol at certain vendors. WIIC Harford promotes responsible drinking.