Pathmark and Pan
- celebrating the heritage of Brooklyn's
West Indian community

Pathmark continued its annual community outreach and 'giving back' tradition where they recognize and applaud the miscellaneous ethnicities within respective neighborhoods where the supermarket chain plays a key role.  Through their Multicultural Arts Festival on Sunday June 8, 2003, their celebration of the West Indian community brought them to Kings Plaza in Brooklyn, New York.

The well-orchestrated event ran from 1:00 PM and paid homage to the cultural heritage and composition of the area by bringing together steel orchestras and dance troupes to entertain the large flock of Sunday mall-goers.  Mystic Dance Group and Ebone Roots and Dance Theatre were scheduled along with Dem Stars Steel Orchestra, Women in Steel and Pan Ambassadors.  Entire shopping families and groups were pleasantly surprised and literally packed the area around the stage to get the best spots to take in all the performances.  Others staked out terrain on the second floor from where they looked down on all the happenings.

This year was the inaugural affiliation with Pathmark for both Dem Stars Steel Orchestra, and General Motors who are the main sponsors for the festival.  Dem Stars set the pace for all the other acts to follow with their set of pop, classics and traditional musical content.  The older audience thoroughly enjoyed 'back in time' treats like Old Lady from the late calypsonian Lord Kitchener and Presley's It's Now Or Never, while those with more modern musical minds took to the steelband's interpretation of Trini 2 De Bone.  Dem Stars' signature piece 'Let There Be Peace on Earth' of course went straight to the hearts of those who had reverence for the day (Sunday) of the event.

Company representatives from the sponsors of the Multicultural Festival interacted with the community members, it being a time where demographics were taken into account, and a sharing of ideas and information took place, not simply raw promotion of products and services.  Kings Plaza came alive and visitors found all their senses well catered to - from the audio visual via the entertainment card, to the culinary aspects through the supply of delights from sponsors such as Turkey Hill who provided ice cream, to General Motors representatives who took the opportunity both to gain an understanding of and forge stronger ties with the people of the community.  All the co-sponsors appreciated the mutually beneficial advantages afforded through businesses working hand-in-hand with the communities they serve.

People came to a dead stop to absorb all that was offered including when Mystic Dance Group later took the stage and showed off their versatility and skill of the African heritage, as did their counterparts later on from Ebone Roots and Dance Theatre.

There were of course mall visitors who were not familiar with steel orchestras and they in particular stopped in amazement to take stock of the phenomenon before them - steelband stage sides with some twenty members; definitely different from the 'one pan man in the subway' stereotype which persists in the minds of many.  Pan Ambassadors and Women In Steel held the attention of the crowds, and captivated with both eye-catching attire and performances, giving the audience their fill of pan music especially those who were hearing well-known tunes for the first time interpreted in pan, such as R. Kelly's The Greatest (from the soundtrack of ALI - the movie) and Quincy Jones' Killer Joe, to well known calypso hits such as Woman Is Boss and many moreThe steelbands made sure that both young and old had something to move their feet to.

A great day with great entertainment, and family, friends and visitors alike will surely keep in mind Pathmark's gift back to the Brooklyn community through the Multicultural Arts Festival, with full strategic and tremendous support from General Motors and all co-sponsors.  Suffice to say that continued community outreach is a step in the right direction by the companies who sponsored the event.

By CP - Basement Press Release Writer


Video Footage of pan from the Multicultural Festival





Date: 6.17.03









Onlookers packed all available space overhead the performance area, while the festival sponsors' presence
were documented both by their banners,
and company representatives















Performers from the Mystic Dance Group
at Pathmark's Multicultural Arts Festival










Dem Stars perform at the Multicultural Arts Festival

2003 Basement Recordings, Inc. All rights reserved.