West Indian American Day Carnival Parade in New York

Every year, on the Labor Day, the New York City celebrates West Indian-American Day with a Carnival. The West Indian community celebrates their national tradition and culture on the first Monday of September; this year it was on September 7th. The celebration aims to promote, develop and celebrate Caribbean culture, arts, history and traditions with a weeklong display of festivities and a grand finale Carnival parade. On the Labor Day, many folklore and music shows that are significant to the Caribbean culture are displayed through the colorful parade in a joyful mood. Over a million people gather on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn for the event, which celebrates Caribbean culture with food and music.


Many revelers wear flags of their respective nations or drape themselves with patriotic colorful capes, and make a visual stunning display of feathers and beads, with headdresses often rising several feet in the air. The costumes are a symbol of the flair and vibrancy of the culture and demonstrate the pride of the Caribbean. The flags of every Caribbean country like of Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Trinidad, and more are waved along the parade route.

The earliest street carnival in New York was held during the 1940's when one Ms. Jessie Wardell secured the first street permit for a parade type event on the streets of Harlem. Earlier, she had started the celebration of the carnival by staging costume parties in large enclosed places with some of her friends in Harlem in the 1930′s. During the 1960′s, Rufus Goring-- another Trinidadian brought Carnival to Brooklyn. According to the statement of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the number of participants for "the New York Caribbean Carnival Parade" has grown over the years from thousands of participants and tourists to over 1 million people in attendance since the mid - 1990′s. The influx of tourists from all over the world greatly benefits New York City, economically.

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