Tropicana concert
Attendees of Orchestre Tropicana d’Haiti's concert waving their hands at the Notre-Dame du Cap-Haitien Plaza on Aug. 14, 2022. The concert was part of Cap-Haitien's 352nd anniversary celebration. Photo by Oldjy Francois for The Haitian Times

CAP-HAITIEN — Young men dressed in designer suits walking down the streets. Partygoers waving sparklers at an all-white affair. Crowded concerts and streets.

In real life and online, people enjoyed seeing a fun, beautiful side of Haiti displayed during the 352nd anniversary celebration of the country’s northern capital, a much-welcomed sight. For those accustomed to seeing mostly violence and gangs footage from Haiti, the Fèt Okap images and videos that went viral over the weekend were a welcome surprise.

“All my friends online right now, they’re shocked,” said Christian Dorvilier, a clothing designer based in Westchester, New York, as he stood at Fort Saint-Joseph before the Rosier Sunset event started on Aug. 14. “It’s a shocker for them to see these things happening in Haiti.”

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.