Brooklyn West Indian Carnival Brooklyn West Indian Carnival

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The Caribbean cluster of small island nations owns an inimitable 500 year history which best defines "New World." It is a history of misrule among an ever changing succession of Kings and Queens who rarely if ever visited or invested. The largest immigrant group began as African slaves and retained their culture through the arts of song, dance and story. Today these festival arts proudly express themselves as some of the biggest and greatest celebrations throughout North America and even Europe. They invite each of us to become a  King or Queen. 

 Catch all the color and excitement as millions of West Indian Americans, Caribbeans, Brooklynites,  New Yorkers and visitors line up along Eastern Parkway for the Brooklyn Labor Day parade on Monday, September 1, 2008.

This year, the West Indian American Day Parade & Carnival, by far the city's biggest parade, celebrates its 41st anniversary. We've been hard at work on a new NYC Parade Guide as well as some new pages you can best find here

The keynote parade on Labor Day Monday will be feature Michael R. Bloomberg, the 108th Mayor of the City of NewMayor Bloomberg's New York Page York For most, Labor Day is the good times afforded by the three day weekend marking the end of summer. Yet this holiday was begun by immigrant New York workers struggling to live their hopes and dreams. 

Meanwhile the Sunday Street Festival in Manhattan's  Little Brazil carries on for those who prefer their Carnivals a bit more multicultural than the many Caribbean islands whose total population not much more than the state of New York. This is, after all the Capital of the Caribbean biggest annual unity event and possibly even the big apple's largest celebration. 



Official WIADCA (West Indian American Day Carnival Association

The WIADCA Corporate Office 323 Rogers avenue Brooklyn NY tel: 718-467-1797
Brazil in NYC
"Aside from its economic impact, the Carnival is an assertion of pan-Caribbean culture, bringing together people from different island nations under one umbrella, and demonstrating to the rest of the world the power and vibrancy of the peoples of the Caribbean. Politicians from within and outside of the Caribbean community are keen to make their presence felt in Brooklyn on Labor Day, a day to see and to be seen."

We move from the quick sands of
social injustice to the
solid rock of human dignity.

Martin Luther King, Jr.



Labor Day Carnival by
 "The Labor Day Carnival, or West Indian Carnival, is an annual celebration held in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Its main event is the West Indian-American Day Parade, which attracts up to four million spectators who watch the parade on its route along Eastern Parkway. The large parade is held on the first Monday in the month of September."

 Pan in New York by basement recordings 
2003 pan yards Mega global pan site with focus on New York. A good reason to go broadband   The On-Line Carnival Experience...Feel the Power ! Yours in Mas, Music and Madness.  NY Labor Day Carnival from Vincy Mas perspective || what's new in Brooklyn -google search  

West Indian Day Carnival by Jim's Deli
Nice insider look for visitor from outside community

"Patience The going is slow, very slow. It's estimated that 2 million people visit the carnival sometime during the day; occasionally the police crowd control barriers don't quite facilitate traffic and long lines of people are forced through small openings. When you get a bit frustrated grab a cold beverage and step back out of the way for a few moments to catch your breath. "

-NYPD is everywhere. 
After a long run as our on-line paper of record for NYC Carnival the nydailynews has gone to a pay per view model with minimal on-line information. Our archival excerpts from prior years hold the source link info which can be converted to the full text along with your cash. 

NYCaribNews =
Regularly updated features with a focus on the International Caribbean community. Some great local Carnival reporters like Glenda Cadogan & Tony Best.

Archives & History

Our Brooklyn - West Indian Carnival History - Brooklyn Library's  overview, fun facts,  parade preparations,  photos.

Brooklyn Carnival 2005 in review
Brooklyn Carnival 2004 in review

2004 New York Labor Day Carnival by
 [F] 2000 - 2001 Carnival Coverage in aforum
 [F] Brooklyn Carnival in the News 1998 to 1999 
featuring summations from other news articles then published 

A Steel Drum Master Prepares for a Carnival
... Monday night in Brooklyn, steel drums pealed down Parkside Avenue in Flatbush NYTimes 1999

Carlos Lezama Resigns by  
the biggest change is the chief organizer for last 20 years has a new role  

Carnival on De Net 2003 is 3canal! 
the sponsor of the 2001 rebirth of the
United States Steelband Association (USSA)  which now produces  its own NY Carnival Panorama While Immigrant journal had no Carnival 2002 related postings on its web site they are main sponsor of 2002 USSA Panorama
 your can check here again if you wish 

from Welcome to Guyana Land of Six Peoples  including NY Times
Welcome and Thank you  
by Carlos Lezama, Founder
  "Brooklyn's is one of the two epicenters of pan music" 

Media Guide Radio & TV Coverage in aforum
Our expanded media guide for Brooklyn, NYC & New York includes lots of live streaming media as well hundreds of links to media outlets here at the capital of the world 


New York union labor leadership gets credit for creating  the well established Labor Day which now also marks the end of summer for most. Today beginning contingents of the Brooklyn Carnival parade uphold the deep NYC traditions as well as the first proposal for the holiday -- "a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families."  
On the other hand, for 2007 the  Labor Day Parade, which has been limping along for a while, has been scrapped  and instead the Central Labor Council will hold a Sept. 8 [Saturday after Labor Day] rally near Ground Zero to highlight 9/11 related worker health issues.

U.S. Dept.of Labor - The History of Labor Day who should get credit is still debated even including who was at the  in NYC || 
 Labor Day by Newshour > some lessons to be learned for older children and younger kids Labor Day Links by google MORE  Labor Day Links 


 [F] More NYC Labor Day Weekend Events

2008 Bands 2008 Awards 2008 Steel Bands NewYork/parades Brooklyn/parades
Guide to annual events

Events Official

Official New York/Brooklyn Carnival WIADCA '2007 Events
Featuring  fantastic nights of music and mas at the 
Brooklyn Museum Grounds 
at Eastern Parkway and Washington Ave
Thursday: Ladies Night (debuting in 2004)
  Soca Festival  with Leading Soca  Bands
Saturday's Kid's Parade & Sunday Brooklyn Museum
Kiddie's Carnival
Steel Band Panorama Competition
Sunday: Dimanche Gras Calypso Show. All shows begin at 8pm (200 Eastern Parkway).


Monday: Grand Parade on the Easter Parkway from Utica to Grand Army Plaza.

More Event Resources
Remember stuff happens confirm events by calling or with other resources before departing
They do prefer you enter through the flyer rich front door here
East Coast Caribbean fete events Clearly #1 & 1st place to post too
Calendar by 
very good for NY Caribbean events

 WLIB Calendar
The only official WIADCA Radio station has an events page which lists events it is sponsoring. 
Find a few upcoming events


EVENTS- NYC & Brooklyn Links 
Search yourself tool kit in aforum

Carnival Sunday in Manhatton
Brazilian Independance Day Street Fair 

Labor Day Sunday Manhattan's Little Brazil on 46th Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue  where you can still find Brazilian food, music, and Brazilian products. In 1984 the City of New York proclaimed the first Sunday in September as the day in which it celebrates Brazilian Independence from Portugal. The event has been managed for the past several years by The Brazilian American Cultural Center and THE BRASILIANS NEWSPAPER as one of the many endeavors they maintain to serve the Brazilian community and promote Brazil internationally.

Brazilian Cultural Events by the embassy ( 

J'Ouvert on Flatbush

J'Ouvert  (pronounced Joo-VAY and often spelt as Jouvert )  means daybreak and is a grass-roots revival of an old Trinidadian custom.  Since its inception in 1991, New York  has become the world's 2nd best J'Ouvert. Like Port of Spain in Trinidad the loose parade format features steel bands and mud mas. Join revellers  very early Monday Labor Day morning about 3am and ending about 9am. The Steel bands prepare music just for this parade and compete for Best Playing Band on the Road and also for Best Costumed Band. This make the 24 hours beginning with Sunday 8pm Dimache Gras among the most unwavering anywhere in the Carnival world.

Check out the insider's guide at

Carnival Monday the Grand Parade

Parade route
Labor Day Monday (1st Monday in September)
Time: Parade starts at 11 am on Eastern Parkway and Utica Ave; continues west on Eastern Parkway to Grand Army Plaza; proceeds south on Flatbush Ave

  • No audio sound systems are allowed within one block of the parade route
  • Jump Up Zone: To better insure everyone's enjoyment spectators are asked to not dance with the mas bands on the Eastern Parkway. 

Parade Safety Rules by WIADCA

 Parade Tips by  Carnival Bandleaders Action Committee

Subway 7th Av Express to Grand Army Plaza or Franklin Avenue  7th Av Express to Grand Army Plaza or Franklin Avenue or Utica Avenue  Lexington Av Express to Franklin Avenue or Utica Avenue  Lexington Av Express to Franklin Avenue | There is no service to the Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum stop during this event. 

The Grand Army Plaza stop is at the end of the parade where NYPD has at times made parades and crowds disperse better options are the Franklin or Utica Avenue stops

Saturday & Sunday before Labor Day

Boston claims to be 2nd biggest Caribbean Carnival after Brooklyn as well as Boston's 2nd biggest annual event. This is arguable since Washington D.C during June's Caribbean-American month and Miami Carnival
on Columbus Day Weekend have strong claims to the title as well was no longer the official site for 2007 while by ecaroh records tops google, gives event info and has extensive archives as well as one of the best Caribbean music store on-line


 Cambridge Carnival  
Caribbean/Mardi Gras style costume parade that celebrates the culture of countries including Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Barbados. Among the highlights of summer Carnibal as celebrated in Cambridge are: the Steel Band Jamboree and a costume parade
Sunday before Labor Day in Kendall Square

WHEN:The parade & festival will takes place on the Sunday following Boston Carnival or the Sunday before Brooklyn Carnival Sunday
WHERE: in the heart of Cambridge, MA between Harvard University and MIT on Massachusetts Avenue between Prospect Street and Lafayette Square (near the fire station).  
MORE INFO: Search google "cambridge carnival" or try

Cambridge is the spirited, slightly mischievous side of Boston, located just a bridge away on the other side of the Charles River. Packed with international flair and a youthful vitality, Cambridge is a city where counter-culture still lives, classic culture thrives, and multicultural is a way of life

Saturday after Labor Day
Baltimore Carnival, the after Labor Day East Coast Carnival has been canceled for 2007  is no more. The parade, last done in 2004  was very successful but parades need to be accompanied by a business plan to pay for them with a festival and community support for police, parking and garbage service. You can visit  the site or this famous poster.
Nearby Carnivals
Late June:  Washington DC 
one of the best official site of any Caribbean Carnival with as many parade bands on the web as any Caribibbean Carnival


 Baltimore Carnival


Late July:  is now
Hartford Conneticut is home to the third largest West Indian community in USA, and the fourth largest in North America.  

DC Carnival Bands on de web
Arious Entertainment
Panmasters Steelband Organization

Roots and Culture

T&T Masqueraders

The Virgin Islands Association
9 vs. 5 for NY Brooklyn!

 October Columbus weekend
Miami Carnival The big final event of the Carnival season (Oct 5-13) (Oct 6-7) (Oct 12-14)


2007 Mas Band Awards ||
 [F] 2006 Mas Bands, Individual & Panorama Awards
 [F] 2005 Mas Bands & Panorama Awards

 [F] 2004 J'ouvert Mas Bands, J’Ouvert Steelband Bomb & Calypso competitions
 [F] 2004 WIADCA Brooklyn Labor Day Carnival AWARDS
 [F] 2003 WIADCA Brooklyn Labor Day Carnival Awards
 [F] 2003 Caribbean Music Awards | Move
 [F] People's Choice by bandleaders for 2001, 2002

 Past Sunshine Awards 
founded in 1989 to honor Caribbean contriubtions to music and the lively arts. 
"Shared Values: We treat each other with respect and dignity, valuing all opinions and cultural differences. We communicate with candor, recognizing that equality begins with people. We support personal growth and continuous learning for all."
at by Lynn Granger 

2000 Brooklyn Panorama AWARDS

1999  Panorama 
Sesame flyers was Band of the year in 1999

1998  Panorama 
Hawks again took Band of the year in 1998

Brooklyn Carnival '97 Awards
Brooklyn Carnival '96 Awards
Brooklyn Carnival '95 Awards

"As the evening began, so it ended -- with the appearance of masqueraders in colorful costumes, bringing alive the true spirit of carnival."
Lynn Granger
“I am only doing this because of the love of my culture and a desire to maintain it. Forty percent of cost of playing mas comes out of my personal business assets,”
Michael Yearwood of Pharm Boyz lamented to HBN.
Hawks International opted out of the carnival this year, also lamenting costs and leadership of the event
. [ from hardbeatnews]

Sesame Flyers
"Love a kid today and every day"
Grand Champion Band Winners
8-straight 2006-1999 || mas camp heres with Hawks
has elected to sit out the 2007 Brooklyn Carnival on the Eastern Parkway but is still very much a Carnival centered organization

 Brooklyn & Long Island Carnival Bands in aforum2000 Mas Bands || 1999 Brooklyn Carnival Bands  || 1998 Bands  || '97 Bands has been providing the best coverage of New York Carnival since 1996  New York Mas Bandleader's Association 

Music - Steelpan
 Visiting the Panyards rehearsing during the cool summer evenings of August is one the seasons favorite Carnival countdown activities. 
Pan in New York is flying high. The streets are filled with the sounds of large pan bands getting ready for 1 of the 2 panoramas. A record number of participants and spectators are expected to witness the 21 steel pan bands play on
 [F] Steelpan New York & the East Coast in aforum top level

 [F] R.I.P. Little Roger (1977 - 2002)

"His knowledge of harmony, form, rhythm and counterpoint is legendary. However, it’s his sense of “bacchanal” that makes Bradley special. The uncanny ability to be both sophisticated and vulgar sets him apart from the rest."

  Great Performances is done gone  (launched Sept. 2000 gone in 2003)
New York based site devoted to Steelpan

Steelpan Network in aforum 
3 webrings, our collection of on-line pans you can play and lots more links  
teel Pan in the Homeland our Trinidad Carnival section

Outside Trinidad and Tobago, New York has the largest pool of Pan players and Pan here has a different outlook; being in the Music Mecca of the Northern Hemisphere there is an international feel,and the sense that Pan is continually "going places.

Music - Soca & Calypso
2006 Brooklyn Carnival Video

New York becoming multi media shows with sound and motion. Antigua and New York's Tonik Band  has been leading the charts with tasty tunes at .    Here's some fun interactivity starring two dancing soca queens and their tunes with you controlling Mr. Cool. Works best if you add the Tonik band clips in our sound bar as well, Click Parkway VS Flatbush
Recent debate about top calpysonians of all time confirm that New York based Mighty Sparrow is the #1 living legend on the field

Byron Lee has more CD's  for sale at than any other Caribbean artist except Bob Marley. Soca Tremor at Amazon  is his current best seller Click the CD cover to price check at CU Universe or click here to blow up Valeria Valessa
Rio Carnival's best known symbol courtesy of Carnival magazine.

BeLoved by David Rudder at||
"songs that not only make us feel to party, but causes us to think. A truly gifted performer."

Andaz International
Angels Band, The
David Michael Rudder
Imij & Company
Invazion Band

Mighty Sparrow
Square One
SW Storm
Xtaushun Band (VI)
CHART-TOPPING LOCAL TALENT ||Wyclef Jean Page at amazon || what's new by google
Son of a preacherman, out of Haiti  and Brooklyn projects, Wyclef is a 2004 Carnival parade grand marshal || Lauren Hill Page at amazon || what's new by google
MTV Unplugged No. 2.0
is Lauryn Hill's first album of new music since 1998's Grammy-winning The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill The double CD/tape collection captures Lauryn Hill's intimate 2-hour soul-wrenching performance of new acoustic music which originally premiered on MTV2 on March 10, 2002.

97tor051.jpg (19562 bytes)Sean P. Diddy Combs
P. Diddy or Puff Daddy 
the  New York based King of Urban music still keeps you coming back for more.
Rap & Hip Hop at amazon

Webcasts & Video
bullet  Find plenty of sound & mo tion 
bullet Had enough left brain activity. Visit some sound and motion in our New York Carnaval A/V Room or how about the two other grand global theatre towns Toronto & London
bullet NY Media Index  || Photos || Parades
Check for what's new in aforum. 
DJ's & Promoters

DJ's & Promoters
These sites cover the scene year round featuring changing event fotos, Carnival coverage and steaming music.

Madvibes caribbean entertainment website brings you the best, latest and oldest Caribbean music and videos live on the internet 24 / 7.


New York  Fotos You can find this button on the main menu under slide shows. There's more NY fotos in our archive area (requires log-in but is free)
TRI Carnival Cities of NY - London &
We've added a special focus on  event-festival-game web talent from these 3 Cities whose global influence is greater than most countries and whose Caribbean influence is at the forefront of what it means to be alive and well in the 21st century Go to  
Check for recent work capturing the beauty of Caribbean Carnival 

2002 USAA Panorama PICTORIAL


Once you go east of Flatbush Ave. or south of Eastern Parkway, there is no shortage of West Indian eateries to satisfy a yen for jerk or roti but.....>
If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner

 [F] West Indian Food & Drink Links on the web
 [F] Drink
One of the big differences between the great traditional pre-Lenten Carnival celebrations and the growing newer post WWII events is the less tolerance of the police towards alcoholic consumption on the street. In NYC Mayor Rudy's 2000 ban on beer sales at parades still stands despite much opposition and cost to festival organizers.  

Talk About It --- Get Ready

New York Carnival aForum   || Sound off here
In between the major annual makeover in August you can check for what's new here.

#1 for NY fetes Newsgroup

Festival Arts Development

'Passing on the Tradition
Scholarly research on the Caribbean immigration experience at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Cheryl Byron and Patricia D Belcon are two Carnival scholars based at MEC 
Something Positive
by Glenda Cadogan

Brooklyn's Cheryl Byron teaches more than Festival Arts
Carnival Roundup
by Glenda Cadogan from the archives.  

WIADCA Is 30 || Thirty Years and Counting Photos 
by Lamuel A. Stanislaus
WIADCA Board member and  historian Written in '97 & '98 

Festival Arts in Public Education

Roots of Carnival lead to Africa 

 [F] Youth Arts Education 

 History of Carnival by also  
"Important to Caribbean festival arts are the ancient African traditions of parading and moving in circles through villages in costumes and

When we trace the origins even of the European carnivals, we find that it is again to Africa we must go. This time to the Nile Valley, and to ancient Egypt


Does your child's school have a 
festival arts program?

 masks. Circling villages was believed to bring good fortune, to heal problems, and chill out angry relatives who had died and passed into the next world"

The African, and Spiritual, Origins of Carnival 
By Grisso at 
"I want in this article to ground the Carnival firmly in Mother Africa, where it rightfully belongs."
Brooklyn Music School ||
"Because unfailing confidence in one's individuality and a willingness and ability to think creatively are so critical to success in today's world, we view art as a fundamental part of education. We focus not only on bringing out exceptional talents, but also on bringing out the exceptional in all of us."

 [F] Video of Brooklyn New York Carnival 
check the video section of aforum

Parades in New York

New York Parades & Annual Events
See if there's a parade happening now on 5th avenue in Manhattan on the 24 hour Cam. New York has the biggest parade in many categories including the well known ThanksgivingHalloween and St. Patricks (NYCVB calls this the biggest) .   Check out our web-guide to these parades and send us a related link 

Other Festivals

Venetian Carnival: New York City Style 
Before the resumption of the Venetian Carnevale in 1980, their local maskmaking industry did not exist. Now over 200 shops feature masks by about 50 mascareri (maskmakers). ...certain masks have achieved the status of art, suitable for hanging or collecting.

London Carnival  
the weekend before New York's and the largest street festival in Europe as well as 
.Columbus Day weekend in October is
Miami's gigantic Carnival festival   
Fastest growing with the most mas bands on the web

Global Carnaval
||Caribbean || Europe attempts to link to all official Carnival web sites and any that offer overall coverage of a Carnival(s) check for these semi-permanent links here
Carnival Calendars on de Web 
You can check to see which of these webmasters has put up next year's calendar. LOGO Caribbean Entertainment News


Caribbean Global Capitals:
Toronto- London- NYC

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