The Eastern Parkway thoroughfare in Brooklyn plays host to the New York Caribbean Carnival Parade on Monday. Apart from the thousands of masqueraders and revelers who are a part of the procession, the event is expected to attract roughly three million spectators who come out to witness the celebrations in full swing.
The intent of this parade, as always, is to give the city a taste of Caribbean music and culture. As the masqueraders take the parade forward in costumes of all sizes and shapes, they are accompanied by flatbed trucks with large speakers aboard, blaring soca, reggae and kompa music as the parade sways to their rhythms.
The Caribbean J’Ouvert marks the initiation of the process at 6:00 am local time and the carnival follows it, passing through a 3-and-a-half-mile route.
The New York Police Department is deployed in full force to provide security to the event. Barricades are placed along the route to prevent spectators from encroaching on the parade.
The New York Police has also decided to employ overheard drones for the first time in the history of the parade. According to them, not only does this enhance the security cover and radius provided, but also allows authorities to have real-time, bird’s-eye view updates on the progress of the parade along its route.
New York State assemblyman Brian Cunningham issued a statement regarding the event in which he said, “It’s just an exciting time for the community. This Carnival is one of the largest carnivals in America, but it also brings in US$300 million of revenue activity for the weekend. So, it’s a very exciting time for the Caribbean-American community.”
“World Stage 2023” was the theme chosen for this year by the The Board of Directors of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), for the New York Carnival Week specifically. The event began on Thursday and features attractions like WIADCA’s signature Junior Carnival Parade, Youth Fest and Panorama Steelband competition on Saturday.
The last day of the event is Monday, which is why the parade is likely to be a spectacular spectacle to bring the entire event to a close.
Yvette D. Clark, a Canadian-American congresswoman serves as the parade grand marshal. She also happens to be the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. The Guyanese born president of the Labour Union Richard Davis, TWU Local 100, Guyanese Ann-Marie Adamson, assistant vice president of Community and Corporate Engagement of the health insurance company, Emblem Health, George Gresham, president of the labour union 1199SEIU, are other integral members of the event.
The carnival was kicked off at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Major attractions of the event were the costumed steel bands, dancers and artists who performed during a 3-hour ceremony. Renowned Trinidadian artist Eddie Charles also made an appearance.
The easy conclusion to arrive at is that the carnival is not only a large party that brings Caribbean culture to all walks of life in New York City, but also a great representation of Caribbean traditions for Americans born to Caribbean immigrants.