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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.

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