The month of June has been designated Caribbean-American Heritage Month by President Bush to highlight the culture and population of the region as well as to pay tribute to the contributions of Caribbean-Americans to the U.S.

In response, the Caribbean Tourism Development Co., comprised of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel Association, will sponsor several events throughout June.

Events include:

" The Conference on the Caribbean: A 20/20 Vision, June 19 to 21 in Washington. The conference is a result of a series of meetings between officials of the U.S. and Caricom (Caribbean Community) earlier this year.

The confab will seek to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and the Caribbean and to improve the Caribbean's relations with the Caribbean community in the U.S.

Details are available at www.conferenceonthecaribbean.org.

" The New York Botanical Gardens features several exhibits through Sept. 16 that showcase Caribbean flora.

Also, at the Conservatory Courtyard in the Botanical Gardens will be a Caribbean music and dance performance on June 6 at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; a demonstration on the culinary history of the Caribbean on June 9 at 1 p.m.; and Caribbean storytelling and folktales on June 17 at 2:30 p.m.

For details, visit www.nybg.org/caribbean/caribbean_science.php.

" Caribbean Week in New York, June 9 to 17, offers a Celebrity Cricket Match on June 9 at 11 a.m. at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn; a Caribbean Gospel Concert on June 9 at 7 p.m. at St. George's Episcopal Church in Manhattan, with performances by gospel artists Lieutenant Stitchie, The Grace Thrillers, Gerard Placide of Trinidad and Tobago, and Mya Daniel of Barbados, among others. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from CTO at (212) 635-9530 or from www.caribbeanweekny.com.

Other Caribbean Week events include a Caribbean gospel brunch on June 10 at the Caribbean Island restaurant in the Bronx; tickets are $100, and proceeds go to the CTO Foundation.

Town Hall meetings are set for June 11 simultaneously in Brooklyn and the Bronx with tourism ministers meeting with their New York-based constituents.

The Caribbean Fair & Vacation Mart takes place on June 12 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan with 70 booths manned by representatives from Caribbean destinations, hotels and strategic partners.

Two Caribbean weddings are scheduled during the fair at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. with the couples receiving the gift of a honeymoon to either the British Virgin Islands or St. Martin/Maarten.

The 34th annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball is set for June 15 at 7 p.m. at the Waldorf-Astoria.

As a prelude to the Caribbean Beach Volleyball Championship Tournament, which is scheduled for Nov. 3 and 4 in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, a series of qualifying matches will be played on June 16 and 17 in Long Beach, N.Y. For qualifying-match information, visit www.eevb.net.

For details and complete schedules, visit www.caribbeanweekny.com or call CTO at (212) 635-9530.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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