Haitian flag-raising fetes set for Irvington and East Orange

EAST ORANGE, IRVINGTON, NJ — Haitian-Americans in East Orange and Irvington will have two opportunities to celebrate their island homeland’s culture, thanks to Haitian flag-raising celebrations in East Orange on Friday, May 18, and in Irvington on Saturday, May 26.

Irvington at large Councilwoman Charnette Frederic, was recently elected to her second term in office, said she would do her best to attend the East Orange event on Friday, May 18, scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m., in City Hall Plaza by the East Orange administration and the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Frederic previously served as West Ward councilwoman before attaining her seat on the Irvington Municipal Council.

Frederic is Irvington’s first Haitian-American elected official, just as East Orange 3rd Ward Councilman Bergson Leneus is that city’s first Haitian-American elected official.

Frederic will be hosting Irvington’s Haitian flag-raising celebration on Saturday, May 26, at 2 p.m., in Irvington’s Civic Square, featuring performances by Jean-Paul Gauthier, Rachelle Prince Celarme, Jean-Claud Jean, Sabine Simon, Wa Ak Gta Twoubadou, Buji Mix, Plezi Hara, China Blak featuring Jadon-Li, Brown Cliff and Ajta. Sadate and Simon will serve as master and mistress of ceremonies and DJ Fabulous Faby will be playing music at the event.

“It’s free admission, so everybody is welcome,” said Frederic on Tuesday, May 15. “We’re going to have free food and drink, free T-shirts, and a free Haitian flag for anyone who comes to the celebration. It’s a first-come, first-served basis, so people need to come out early and spend the afternoon with us, celebrating Haitian history, independence and our homeland’s national flag.”

The Charnette Frederic Civic Association and the Ring the Bell for the Community organization have organized Irvington’s event, which has multiple local sponsors.

The East Orange ceremony on Friday, May 18, will feature food, music and live entertainment and kicks off at 5 p.m. with a special heritage procession from East Orange Campus High School to City Hall Plaza, featuring Leneus and music by DJ Vaselli.

“Let’s make this the biggest flag-raising in East Orange history,” said Leneus on Monday, May 14. “Please spread the word. Come out and bring your families. Hope to see you there.”

For more information about Irvington’s event, call Joseph Fredric at 973-545-6183 or Paul El Sadate at 201-682-9576. For more information about the East Orange’s event, call 973-414-4141.