West Indian American Day Carnival kicks off

Tens of thousands of masqueraders and revelers and millions from around the world are expected on Monday to converge on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway for the 47th Annual West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.

The Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), organizer of the spectacular event, considered the largest event in North America, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson will be this year’s Grand Marshals.

The carnival, which began on Thursday, culminates on Monday, Labor Day, with the massive parade, described as “Brooklyn’s Greatest Show”!

The five-day event features a stellar line-up of Caribbean artists, outdoor dance concerts, cuisine, colorful carnival costumes and competitions.

On Thursday, the inaugural “Caribbean Woodstock: A Celebration of Light” featuring what WIADCA described as “some of the best Caribbean talents”, including Skinny Banton (Grenada); Adrian Dutchin (Guyana); Problem Child (St. Vincent and the Grenadines); Ricardo Drue (Antigua and Barbuda); Surette Bon Bon (Haiti); Statement (Barbados); Zouk & the Gang (Guadeloupe); and Mr. Famous (Trinidad and Tobago); Tarrus Riley (Jamaica).

“Complete with traditional Ole’ Mas and Individual Costume competitions, Caribbean Woodstock celebrates a new vision while paying homage to traditional folklore,” WIADCA said.

On Friday, WIADCA features the “Stay In School—Youth Fest/College Fair.”

The “Stay in School Youth Fest” is a free program that presents an opportunity for young people to showcase their artistic talents on stage to about 3,000 attendees, WIADCA said.

“It also highlights the values of our immigrant community, which encourages our youth to pursue their education,” it added.

Featuring the “finest” Caribbean musicians/acts in one outdoor party, the signature Brass Fest concert/party on Friday night features, among others, direct from Ghana for the first time Blakk Rasta (Barak Obama); Teddyson John and the TJ Project; Red Fyah Band; Skinny Fabulous (Behavin’ de Worse); Lyrikal (Conquer Meh); Patrice Roberts; Farmer Nappy (Big People Party); Rayzor (Sponsor Meh); Da Big Show; Mr. Killa (Rolly Polly); and headliner Machel Montano HD (EPIC, Ministry of Road).

On Saturday, the Junior Carnival Parade takes place.

It begins at Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place and continues to Franklin Avenue and President street, ending at Brooklyn Museum.

On Saturday night, Panorama 2014 takes place, as the finest steel orchestras in New York and the 2014 Toronto panorama champs gather to present a competitive steelband show down, vying for the New York 2014 Panorama Championship crown.

“Dimanche Gras: The Legends Are Coming!” takes place on Sunday night, featuring the King and Queen of the Bands Competition, winners from previous nights and featured performances from Caribbean living legends.

These comprise The Mighty Sparrow, King David Rudder and Lord Nelson, along with Lima Calbio, Leon Coldero, Lennox Picou, Jeromy Rodriguez, Trinidad and Tobago’s Junior Soca Monarch 2014, Something Positive Dance Troupe and the Sunshine Band.

“We are delighted to have the support of all our returning and new partners for the 47th Annual New York Caribbean Carnival festivities,” said Jean P. Alexander, WIADCA’s director of marketing and public relations.

“These relationships help to strengthen our presence and commitment to the community,” she added.

Alexander said WIADCA’s contributions, over the years, have proven to be a “dependable and successful annual economic stimulus, generating over US$100 million in revenue and profitable opportunities to local businesses throughout Brooklyn (and) the City and State of New York.”

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