With performances and displays by dance troupes, stilt dancers, a steel pan ensemble, soca artistes and costume bands, among others, the Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) last Thursday evening kicked off its 2019 Caribbean Carnival at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
Hundreds of Caribbean nationals attended the spectacular event, which WIADCA also used to present a long list of awards to 2018 Ole Mas Characters/Ole Mas Bands; Adult Male and Female Characters; and Junior Male and Female Characters.
Among the recipients were Roy Pierre and Associates, who, as in previous years, placed first for the 2018 Ole Mas Character.
“I thank you for being here this evening,” said Dr. Jean Joseph, WIADCA’s Dominican-born, the newly-elected president, in her remarks. “Your support of our West Indian American Day Carnival Association is most appreciated; and it is because of you (why) we are still standing today. Give yourselves a round of applause!
“As we celebrate 52 years of community service, Caribbean cultural stewardship and youth development, we are reminded that shaping our communities to reflect all of us is very important,” added Joseph, a certified public accountant (CPA), who replaced Jamaican Dr. Leonie Pierce, who was not re-elected after serving for only one year. The overwhelming number of WIADCA’s board members are Trinidadian-born.
“We are a year-round, non-profit organization, made up of 90 percent volunteers, who work very hard with our community and our partners to keep culture alive through pop-up programs, mas, wire bending and pan workshops, immigration forums, etc. — all of which have been supported by many of our city agencies and government entities, and we thank you for that,” Joseph continued. “We strive to be a beacon of change, where we embrace, promote and celebrate all aspects of Caribbean heritage and expect all to do the same.
“We take pride in demonstrating our commitment by creating opportunities, business and entrepreneurism for many in New York City, New York State and this great Borough of Brooklyn,” she said. This is our legacy for the generations to come. I look forward to another 52 years with this great Caribbean institution, with your help.”
Performers at the launching ceremony included: Tropical Fete Stilt Dancers; WIADCA Youth Steel Pan Ensemble; N.O.W. Productions; Roxboro Police Youth Club of Tobago; Diverse Legends; Diamond Entertainment for Kids; Kaios Kids; soca artiste Camille King, who carries the sobriquet “Milli-K”; De Royce; Million Dolla Capo; Stronjah International; and Sesame Flyers.
Joseph said, “much to the delight of paying patrons, WIADCA has put together a cast of headline performers from around the Caribbean” during the five-day spectacle, culminating with the grand carnival parade, on Labor Day Monday, on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.
“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,” she said.
The nightly pre-parade shows 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.
Joseph said Public Advocate Jumaanne Williams and City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, among others, will serve as Parade Grand Marshals this year.