Brooklyn Carnival sEPt 2004 in review
2005 Brooklyn Carnival Events
"This is always the last bash of the summer and it's always a fun parade,"
said New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.


 The Mayor was in good spirits as he joined the NYPD Steelband Truck making its parade debut. Bloomberg together with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly also went on to demonstrate their pan-playing prowess. The band played on in front of the Brooklyn Library on Grand Army Plaza while the Grand wait for the first costumed bands began.
 “This is a parade that has had a few problems in the past,” he told reporters after trying out his hand at playing a steel pan But is has improved every year, he remarked to Tony Best reporting to of Barbados


Faces in the crowd lit up when musician Wyclef Jean, one of the grand marshals, marched by and waved. He hugged parade-watchers and posed for pictures.

"I'm the son of the city," said Jean, who is from Brooklyn via Haiti. "I'm what you call the American Dream. I overcame obstacles, learned to speak English and have never been to prison. I made something of myself. I want these kids to know they can do it without doing something illegal."
"I'm the first hip-hop artist to be grand marshal," and added that to get such respect from peers and elders meant a lot.

Grand Marshall Wyclef Jean, Mayor Michael Bloomberg,  Sen. Charles Schumer, Edison O. Jackson, president of Medgar Evers College, cut a red ribbon to start the wait for the parade at 10 a.m.

Great Year for Steel Pan: While Sonatas steel band won the West Indian American Carnival Panorama 2004 Championship despite complaining publicly a few days earlier that they were being forced to shutdown their panyard too early by the NYPD.
Oct. 16 at the Sheraton New York Hotel in Manhattan. This year's theme is "One Caribbean - One Family.
For tickets and information, call (201) 836-0799.
Because Carnival Week also coincided with the Republican National Convention several related street festivals and fund-raising parties  were canceled because organizers couldn't get police permits. This included Sesame Flyers 15th annual fundraiser.  and

"It dampens the parade with all the rules and regulations," said Frederick Hall, 58, of the Utica Boys mas camp. "But what can you do? We're not in Trinidad." Download
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was supposed to be a 2004 grand marshal but her husband's hospitalization for open heart surgery did not allow time in her schedule.
Fancy Bands should have been impressed with the improved methodology allowing most of the costumed participants to parade without being surrounded by T-shirted band members.
NYPD Parade Day was still out in mega-force numbers but could be found well dispersed many blocks away. Crowd control techniques were soft and savvy plus they worked really well too.

JouvertThe police were far more tolerant of Jouvert which came off with little fanfare but attracted huge crowds of paraders, many in costumed bands who enjoyed the non-amplified music featuring the sweet soulful sounds of pan. This was a Jouvert (pronounced jouvay) which can compare itself to Port-of-Spain's magical daybreak crowd rituals. Lets hope the peace and cooperative friendly spirit continues to shine through the darkness on this stretch of Brooklyn which begins well after 2am and ends with daybreak sometime after 6am with remnants straggling onto the parade route with can't get enough grins. 
Sonatas, who less than three days prior complained they were being forced to shut down practice early, won with the tune ‘War 2004.’ finishing with 471 points, well ahead of 2nd place Casym at 453 points. Yohan Popwell was debuting in the New York Panorama. A rising talent according to the authoritive web site When Steel Talks who is currently the house arranger for Trinidad's All Stars Steel Orchestra and a protégé of Leon 'Smooth' Edwards, according to . Also taking encores are band’s tuner is Bertrand 'Birch' Kelman and captain Ainsworth 'Chuffy' Cust.

DC Pan Jammers won the 2004 Brooklyn Carnival Jouvert bomb competition, playing Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" arranged by Sherwin Thwaites.

Download "There has to be a way in which the city, public and private sectors can provide support to organizations like Pantonic who provide such valued services to our culture, youth and city. For many in our community this will be their only music performance experience."
 New York city mayoral
 candidate Councilman Charles Barron  "King of East New York"  

MEDIA WATCH: Celeste Alvarez, 21, of Mott Haven, had been throwing socks into the crowd from a float sponsored by VIM, the clothing store where she works. After she lost her balance and fell, the flatbed following the truck ran over her chest, police and relatives said. She is expected to survive. The only other violence widely reported by the media was a stabbing described as not serious. NEWSDAY's Summary does not appear impressive

"Last year, (2003) an aspiring teacher was shot to death in a dispute during the parade. In 1999, two 11-year-olds were crushed to death between two vehicles involved in the caravan. Later that night, an 18-year-old was fatally crushed after he fell from a truck and his clothing got caught in its wheels."

Supporting traditional annual events


A media sensationalized 1999 Brooklyn Carnival incident of violence led to the banning of the sale of alcoholic beverages at all NYC outdoor events. This overreaction by authorities continues to impact the finances and behind the scenes year round work on the many struggling volunteer organizations who provide the essential vocation of weaving the collective community fabric that makes one proud to say they are a New Yorker. Elixirs have been part of celebration since time immemorial, and NYPD's lack of faith in the ability of its citizens to partake during public celebrations gives the town second rate status in the field of world class celebrations.
As New York City competes for the 2012 Olympics it needs to heed the findings of the WIADCA sponsored fact-finding mission by elected officials to Port of Spain, Trinidad in 2003 which found that trusting your citizens to behave by allowing them to enjoy themselves in traditional manners was key to the great success of the world renowned Carnival's

Click on names for more pictures

1 SONATAS 471 (War)
2 CASYM 453 (We Like to Play)
3 MARSICANS 435 (Bonnie & Clyde)
4 D'RADOES 432 (Cocoyea)
5 CROSSFIRE 430 (We Like to Play)
6 DEM STARS 427 (War)
7 SESAME FLYERS 415 (Soca Train)
8 DESPERS USA 407 (War)
10 ADLIB 393 (War)
11 PAN PHONIKS 392 (Bradley's Dream)
12 PANTONIC 389 (Bonnie & Clyde)

Relinquishing my hold on the costume, I made contact with its informing spirit and carried that away with me." 
Robert Storr

New York PHOTOS: Brooklyn Carnival & NYC Parades, Sights & WebCams

Brooklyn West Indian Carnival

2004 New York Labor Day Carnival

New York with frame set  


Brooklyn Carnival Economic Impact Study Released

hardbeatnews report
At a VIP breakfast on Monday, September 6, Lezama-Clark said the impact was $200 million, approximately 500,000 more than stated by the study. For years, organizers have been claiming the impact is closer to $300 million.

The study, conducted by The Lugano Group, Inc., with funding from the Empire State Development Corp., found that the total economic impact of the 2003 West Indian American Day Carnival was $154,800,000. However, the direct economic impact of Carnival 2003 was $86 million. The indirect total was achieved by taking into consideration sales of cloth, food, drinks and other products, among other purchases, researchers said.

Charles A. Gargano, chairman of Empire State Development Corp., which provided a $20,000 grant to conduct the study, said, “As the largest parade in North America, it was vital that we understand the economic benefits it brings to New York. This study quantifies what we already knew – that the Carnival is the catalyst for significant economic activity not only in Brooklyn, but the City and State as well. The results of the study show that the West Indian American Day Carnival is well positioned to attract sponsor and investment as it competes with large parades across North America.”

The West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn needs a management shake-up — and could be forced to make some major changes to keep it afloat, The Post has learned.

WIADCA receives close to $100,000 from the city and $345,550 in corporate sponsorship, according to the study. By comparison, the organization behind the Puerto Rican Day Parade raises about twice that amount primarily due to an unusually high number of  major sponsors giving over $100,000.  — and receives no public funding, according to 2003 tax filings.

 The Puerto Rican Day Parade is also broadcast on NBC and its Spanish language subsidiary, Telemundo, while the West Indian Day Parade, with its major gaps and sometimes chaotic mix of street clothes and costumes does not get exposed beyond public access specials.


Costumed bands rev up for big parade

BY LESLIE CASIMIR  Such is the behind-the-scenes

In 2003, Wayne Ramsey spent his nights gluing feathers and sequins onto 267 carnival costumes and raising $18,000 for a rented truck and deejay to take part in the annual West Indian American Day Carnival Parade, set to kick off tomorrow at 11 a.m.

But Ramsey's mas (masquerade) band, called Rango & Associates, never made it down Eastern Parkway. "It was about 5:30 p.m., and the police made us turn off on Bedford Ave.," recalled the stunned city elevator inspector. "All that work, all that money - for nothing."

Tropical blowout!
Marchers put fest foot forward

People of West Indian descent came from all over to celebrate Caribbean heritage yesterday.

Sunny West Indian American Parade Draws Thousands
 Seventy floats participated in the parade, which kicked off around 11 a.m. and ended at 6 yesterday. It brought to an end, five-days of non-stop partying, that kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 2 with the first every ladies night, followed by Friday, Sept. 3 with Brassfest and on Saturday, Sept. 4 with Panorama  Check out Hardbest models Hardbeatnews models Karma (l.) and Kitanya Fotos coming