Pols gear up for Caribbean Carnival

Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte in her office in Flatbush.
Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte in her office in Flatbush.

The West Indian American Day Carnival in Brooklyn is the time when local and state politicians use every opportunity to promote themselves in one form or the other. And this year will not be any different.

Many are expected to participate in five-day festival, starting on Thursday; while others will participate in the grand pre-Carnival Breakfast, at the Lincoln Terrace Park, at the beginning of the parade, at Buffalo Avenue in Brooklyn.

The legislators will then march along the 3 ½ mile-long-route to the end of the parade, at Grand Army Plaza, on Flatbush Avenue, waving and greeting over three million spectators who will converge on Eastern Parkway, one of Brooklyn’s larger thoroughfares, for the largest carnival parade in North America.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are expected to headline the extravaganza.

The Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Association (WIADCA), organizer of the carnival, has named New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, and New York City Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene, the Haitian-born representative for the 40th Council District in Brooklyn, among the parade grand marshals.

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the largely Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, has already announced plans to attend most, if not all, of the carnival events, urging carnival lovers to participate in the festivities.

The nightly pre-parade shows, at the Brooklyn Museum, comprise: Reggae, Afro Beats, Soca…Unda Di Stars with headliners Ding Dong and Wayne Wonder (Thurs., Aug. 29); Brassfest, featuring Kes, Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy and Skinny Fabulous (Fri., Aug. 30); Steelpan Panorama, featuring more than 10 steel orchestras (Sat., Aug. 31); and Dimanche Gras, featuring, Calypso Rose, GBM Nutron, Tallpree and Lavaman; Kings and Queens of the Bands, Individual and Ole Mas Costume presentations; and Panorama 2019 winners — all on Sun., Sept 1.

“Are you ready for the parkway?” asked Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, in an email message to constituents ahead of the carnival events.

Bichotte wants constituents to join her in marching in the New York Caribbean Carnival Parade on Labor Day Monday.

“At 10:00 am, we will proceed from the meet up location (corner of Buffalo Avenue and Eastern Parkway),” she said. “Wear comfortable shoes.”

Dr. Jean Joseph, WIADCA’s newly-elected, Dominican-born president, said “the formula of four nights of concerts at the massive Brooklyn Museum outdoor stage and two street parades – one for children (and) the other for adults – remains the same.

“This is our legacy for the generations to come,” she said. “I look forward to another 52 years with this great Caribbean institution, with your help.”

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