Palm Beach County Celebrates Haitian Heritage

Palm Beach County Celebrates Haitian Heritage
Posted on 05/15/2019
Karen Brill

Haitian American Culture Day took place on May 4 in Delray Beach, kicking off Haitian Heritage Month. Several prominent County officials were on hand for the event including Karen Brill, District 3 Palm Beach County School Board Member, Mack Bernard, Palm Beach County mayor, and Shelly Petrolia, the mayor of Delray Beach.

“It is a great event, I am very glad to participate in it,” Brill said as she watched a student musical performance.

Bernard addressed the crowd, recounting his journey from being born in Haiti to his current role as mayor. As a former Delray Beach City Commissioner, and one-time Florida State Representative, the mayor’s personal narrative as a proud Haitian-American who encourages his community to get involved, share its culture, and work hard to succeed in the United States, resonated with the audience.

The event featured a variety of attractions, including exhibits of Haitian art, a fashion show, book showcase, student performances, food competition, music and much more. Local community organizations and agencies also gave presentations on several important topics.

“I am glad to see this kind of event taking place in the community,” said an attendee who brought her five children to the event. “It gives me the opportunity to immerse my children in the Haitian culture, since they were not born in Haiti, and this helps boost their self-esteem about the origin of their parents. My daughter is actually learning Creole in order to be able to communicate with me.”

The Palm Beach County Commission and the Palm Beach County School District adopted proclamations recognizing May as Haitian Heritage Month. Additional celebrations are scheduled throughout the month, including Haitian Flag Day on May 18, the most significant patriotic holiday for Haitians. 

Mack Bernard, Palm Beach County mayor


 Shelly Petrolia the mayor of Delray Beach


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