Can’t Wait For New York’s West Indian Labor Day Carnival Parade..


West Indian American Day Parade

Ok, so we are in the middle of may and next month is june and if you are a true carnival/mas lover like me you would know that most NY mas camps launch there band’s in June in New York….

Brooklyn’s famed Caribbean American Labor Day Parade is Mardi Gras in the Big Apple. It’s not a day, really, but rather a week of preparatory events, celebrations, and even a preview of parade steel drums at the Brooklyn Museum.

Labor Day in Brooklyn New York City, is synonymous with the West Indian Carnival Parade, held on the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. It is the time when the spirit of Trinidad Carnival comes to New York and people gravitate toward Brooklyn, Crown Heights where all roads lead to Carnival. Anyone who has not experienced or taken part in a Labor Day/West Indian American Day Carnival is missing one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of a lifetime. The rewards that await the five senses, individually and collectively exceed your wildest imagination.

The Labor Day Parade (or West Indian Carnival) is an annual celebration held on American Labor Day (the first Monday in September) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. The main event is the West Indian Day Parade, which attracts between one and three million participants.[1] The spectators and participators watch and follow the parade on its route along Eastern Parkway.


The earliest known Carnival street parade was held on September 1, 1947. The Trinidad Carnival Pageant Committee was the founding force behind the parade, which was held in Harlem. The parade route was along Seventh Avenue, starting at 110th St.

NY Labor Day Carnival like many other Trinidad Carnival spin offs are absorbed into the very fabric of popular culture most easily through various art forms…

Many Calypso and Soca songs from Trinidad make reference to the Labor Day Carnival, including “Gunplay on the Eastern Parkway” by Calypso Rose, “Melee (on the Eastern Parkway)” by Maestro, and “Labor Day in Brooklyn” by the Mighty Sparrow. Jay-Z mentions the Labor Day Carnival on his hit song “Empire State of Mind” (2009), when he says “3 dice Cee-lo, 3 card monte, Labor Day Parade, rest in peace Bob Marley”. peace Bob Marley”.

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The West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), the organization that has been producing this spectacular event since 1964, will present four days of entertainment and activities for children and adults beginning Thursday, Aug. 30-Monday, Sept. 3.

Revellers on floats representing each Caribbean island, party trucks, live bands, and stilt walkers will perform along Eastern Parkway from Utica Avenue to Grand Army Plaza. Be forewarned—the music is loud and the dancers are very sexy. It’s like a revved up combined Rio de Janiero and Trinidad Carnival—New York style! Yes, it’s safe.

The New York Post reports Bloomberg even went so far as to say the (viral )>>>video was a great advertisement for New York City.

Credited with generating millions to the City’s coffers, the event is also magnet for politicians and incumbents courting the Caribbean vote. In past years, some officials have included Bill and Hillary Clinton, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Gen. Colin Powell, (Jamaican ancestry) a former parade grand marshal, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo

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The tone is set by colourful costumes, the pulsating sounds from the Caribbean and the effervescence of revellers and those who line the route. You hear and see it in the bouncy music from all over the region, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Haiti, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Sty. Kitts-Nevis, you name it. Of course, it was also present in the wiggle of the behind as men and women bounce up on each other and dance. That’s the essence of carnival.

Carnival did something else that is distinctly Caribbean: the calypso, reggae and steel band music were integral parts of the celebration. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, pan music is a gift from the Caribbean. So are soca and reggae and their inevitable fusion with the other genres. Carnival, pan music, reggae and soca are national symbols of the Caribbean.

If they are inextricably linked so are the joys and the colour associated with them. When they come together in an exhilarating mixture the result is a magnetic appeal that attracts and holds people’s attention and becomes a kind of an unshakeable grip on their imagination. That’s why it is so difficult to understand why carnival and its organizers, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, don’t receive more support state and local financial assistance from Albany and City Hall.

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This is New York City’s largest parade, and over 2/3 million revellers turn out every Labor Day for this entertaining and extravagant celebration of Caribbean culture. The Carnival is an assertion of pan-Caribbean culture, bringing together people from different island nations under one umbrella, and demonstrating to the rest of the world the power and vibrancy of the peoples of the Caribbean.. It really is a pristine day of music, food and costume fantasies enjoyed by millions along the tree-lined Eastern Parkway.

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Join the Debate: If you would like to comment about the blog, we encourage you to please leave your comments below. Do let us know of any other carnival events you feel are worth a mention thanks again….

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