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» BREAKING NEWS, EVENTS, Featured » THE WEST INDIAN AMERICAN DAY PARADE IN BROOKLYN, CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF PROMOTING CARIBBEAN CULTURE!

THE WEST INDIAN AMERICAN DAY PARADE IN BROOKLYN, CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF PROMOTING CARIBBEAN CULTURE!

By Nelson A. King—

 

Brooklyn’s biggest parade goes gold!

The West Indian American Day Parade has reached a golden milestone this year, celebrating 50 years of promoting Caribbean culture and parading colorful outfits through the streets of New York. The theme for this year’s Carnival Week is “From a Dream to a Legacy” — an appropriate message as the parade looks forward to its next 50 years, said the president of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.

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“We are blessed to have marked 50 years of Caribbean impact, culture, education, economic contribution, services and carnival in New York state,” said William Howard.

Making it to 50 is a major achievement, said one of its most colorful participants.

“It’s a milestone to bring this culture together so we can celebrate,” said Kay Mason, a nine-time winner of the parade’s Carnival Queen contest.

Here are a few highlights to check out this year:

Reggae Unda Di Stars

This funky reggae party kicks off four nights of Caribbean music on the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum. The night will feature reggae ambassadors Cocoa Tea, Ghanian dancehall reggae artist Stonebwoy, and Brooklyn’s own Afrobeat songstress Wunmi. Musician Stephen “Ragga” Marley, the son of Bob Marley, will appear to accept a posthumous tribute to his iconic father.

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Brass Fest

This concert devoted to soca music, an offshoot of calypso, will star The All Stars, Blaxx, Lyrikal, Farmer Nappy, Problem Child, and more performers from around the Caribbean, along with Brooklyn group Rayzor & Request Band.

J’ouvert Parade

This public street festival, whose name means “daybreak,” traditionally starts in the pre-dawn hours. But violence in previous years has caused the city to move the start time to the moment of dawn, at 6 am. Expect lots of steel band music, police checking party-goers for alcohol and weapons — and an unofficial party starting at midnight the night before. The parade will start at Grand Army Plaza, travel through Prospect Park on Flatbush Avenue, turn left onto Empire Boulevard, then right on Nostrand Avenue until it ends at Midwood Street.

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