Archive | September, 2019

German Americans Salute a Hero at the Steuben Parade on 5th Avenue

23 Sep
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One of the many amazing German Bands

     Museum Mile on 5th Avenue was the setting for the 62nd annual Steuben Parade honoring German culture and a tribute to the Revolutionary War Hero, General Von Steuben. It was a festive celebration with several marching bands from Germany playing some traditional tunes. Marchers dressed in traditional attire from the region including Bavaria, Alsace, Austria and Swiss. A stage and reviewing stand was set up between 78th and 79th streets for parade VIPs and guests to welcome the happy marchers.  As usual. the mounted police signaled the start of the parade. National anthems of both countries were played by the honorary marching band from Hamburg, Germany.  Then the fun began with the marching band getting the crowd ready for a day of yodeling and all things German.

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A Salute to the Great General Baron Von Steuben

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Karnival marchers

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Singing a Happy Tune 

     The Steuben serves to unite both German and Americans in different professions. German firefighters unite with NYFD German marchers. German police get to march with NYPD officers of German descent. Signs of unity were displayed all throughout the event. Of course the fun floats were all the bouncing beer floats. Perennial favorites of the parade are the doberman group which keeps growing each year. The Long Island Volkswagon car club with their classic cars and the Turners doing gymnastic feats. This year everyone was treated to an impressive Japanese yodeler. Still makes me nervous when the Germans and Japanese get together. But his time it was for a good cause.

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Classic Bugs

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Beer anyone?

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Best Uniforms of the Parade

     It’s always a treat to see the marching bands from Germany and near regions. Most notable were Kreisfeuerwehrmusik Celle, the St. Johannes Baptiste marching band and Nussdorf Salzburg Austria marching bands. They were incredible. But the marching band with the best uniforms goes to Jugend Musik Corps with replica War of 1812 uniforms.  Closing out the marching bands were a cool band AKA Blas play I Could Have Danced All Night. Excellent selection. At the end end of the parade route on 86th St., most marchers turned right back around and headed to Central Park to continue the party at Oktoberfest.

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All Is Golden At the 50th Anniversary of the African American Day Parade in Harlem

16 Sep
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Virginia State U Taking Over

     An amazing tribute of the contributions of African American culture was on full display for an historic event. The 50th anniversary of the African American Day Parade was celebrated on Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd. with lots of joyous spirit and high energy.  A stage was set up on 125th St. where parade VIPs and dignitaries set up for a day of praise and glory to all things African American. Legendary singer Melba Moore sang Lift Every Voice and Sing at the staging area to get the festivities started.   Local politicians and community groups made their voices known of the gains made by the community and struggles that they still face.

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Melba Moore Paying Tribute to the Parade

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NYS Attorney General Leticia James with the Children

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Charles Rangel and former Mayor David Dinkins

 

     Keeping true to the original parade in 1969, the parade serves as a means to bring about unity and spread the word on movements and empowerment.   This years theme was Integrity and Transparency = Good Government. Locally, there is no better example than current NYS Attorney General Leticia James. She was having a great time with the little and big kids in Harlem. Former Mayor Dinkins and former US Congressman Charles Rangel were having a fun time. Local Unions sent their 1199 SEIU Black Lives Matter dancers to get the crowd worked up.  Two notable marching bands were from Uniondale High School in Long Island and the high powered Virginia State University Trojan Explosion Marching Band. 

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AKA In The House

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Young Swag

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Putting On the Best Show

      All the major sororities and fraternities were present to show off their moves. The Green and Pink AKAs were having fun in their line dance. Representing Baltimore were perennial favorites Dynasty Marching Unit and Mass Destruction Marching Unit. They were real good. Kicking down the doors were the Baltimore All Stars Marching Unit. They always bring the most energy and have the best moves. I look forward to them each year as they continue to raise the bar of excellence. The crowd gave them lots of love. If all the icons of African American society were looking down from above, they would be very happy with the unity and positive messages shared by all.

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See Ya Next Year

 

 

Wet and Wild Times at the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn

3 Sep

 

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It’s Carnival Time….

     Torrential rains at the start of the 52nd annual New York Carnival Parade couldn’t damper the moods of thousands of marchers, masqueraders and revelers that came to experience one of New York’s largest parades.  Labor Day in New York is celebrated in grand style with a magnificent display of Caribbean culture in music, dance, food and mass celebration. People come from all parts of the country and the Caribbean islands just to be a part of the spectacular event. Since the real Carnival is held in mid winter, it’s too cold in NYC for any type of outdoor celebration, so the parade founders organized a fashion show and parade similar to the traditional event from the islands to be held on Labor Day.

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Blank Ink Crew Float Getting Fired Up

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Fly Having Some Fun

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Amazing Caribbean Cultural Display

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Always Brings Her A Game

     As soon as I turned on Eastern Parkway and Washington St. the aromatic foods were drawing me in to see what was cooking. Big trays of curried goat and chicken, oxtails, rice and peas and whole host of other Caribbean food selections were available from kiosk to kiosk. The rain started picking up towards the start of the parade where the NYPD Brass Band got the sparse crowd into the festive mood with a nice upbeat tune. A parade of flags from the island nations and Canada got things started. Then the heavy rains started and everyone ran for cover. About a half hour later, the rain subsided and the first of many floats arrived to the cheer of many in the crowd. The cast from the popular TV series Black Ink Crew got the party started with a hard banging float.

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     Huge tractor trailers with monster speakers pumped out some favorite tunes for masqueraders to dance to along the 2 mile parade route on Eastern Parkway. They make their way passed Washington St, in front of the Brooklyn Museum where a number of judges review the groups presentation. It’s always a fun time to see which group brings the most energy and gets the nod from the judges. The beautiful 4 Seasons group had an impressive presentation. They were soon followed by the fierce group Stronjeh. This large group was well prepared for their presentation. A perennial favorite, Ramajay Mas, announced this would be their final year at the Parade. All the masqueraders from Ramajay gave it their all. It was amazing to see. Several dancers left in tears knowing this was their last dance. Ramajay Mas has always set the bar for excellence in presentation at the West Indian Day Parade. They will be missed.  Radio station WBLS promoted youth in a high energy display of a well choreographed African themed presentation.

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A convoy of tractor trailers kept growing as the rain left and the sun came back out along with the heat the West Indian community brings to any party. The Haitians had one of the largest crowds following their truck. Bajan Paradise got the crowd to raise their flags all up and down the Parkway. It really is one of the best parades in the city.  See ya next year.

Written by: Albert Terc

Photos by: Albert Terc and Aluche_Events

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Layout Picture of West Indian Day Parade

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