Millions of New Yorkers will line up along Eastern Parkway for the Brooklyn Labor Day parade on Monday, September 2, 2013.
This year, the West Indian American Day Parade & Carnival continues to enjoy the distinction of being New York City’s biggest cultural festivals by far.
As in the past, count on crowds to be waving flags from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, Haiti, and other Caribbean nations in a joyful expression of ethnic heritage and cultural pride.
Everyone’s invited to take part in the spectacle of thousands of marchers in colorful costumes jumping down the parade route to the sounds of reggae and calypso.
A special added-attraction: the aromas of native foods like Jamaican jerk chicken, Bajan fried flying fish, and other soul-satisfying treats at the city’s biggest street festival.
In fact, the entire Labor Day weekend is devoted to special events – with a special Kiddie Carnival on Saturday, a Dimanche Gras (Fat Sunday) celebration, and an early Monday morning (starting around 3 AM) J’Ouvert parade, a celebration of steel pan drums that kicks off the main parade beginning at 11 AM.
This Caribbean celebration, known for having lively music and lots of skin, is never short on costumed stilt dancers, floats blaring soca and calypso music, and plenty of flags from countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Look for vendors stationed along Eastern Parkway selling island eats like jerk chicken, curry goat and oxtail. Early risers can preparty at J’ouvert (pronounced “joo-VAY”), a predawn festival in which revelers throw powdered paint at each other. Head to Grand Army Plaza around 4 AM when the high jinks really get going.
Eastern Pkwy from Schenectady Ave to Flatbush Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Subway: 3, 4, 5 to Crown Hts-Utica Ave.