A kaleidoscope of colorful costumes took over the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 26 finally bringing the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, (WIADCA) center stage at the annual New York city pageantry that celebrated its 94th production, streamed live in keeping with the COVID-19 protocol.
Masqueraders reveled on the tarmac against the backdrop of the festively dressed Macy’s storefront, showcasing the true spirit of the lively Caribbean carnival that had its 10 minutes of fame after being swept off Eastern Parkway this year, due to the on going COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite given a short period of time to shine, compared with its customary miles of revelry, the beautifully towering green individual costume made a huge impact among revelers who waved flags, and stilt dancers massing to infectious steel pan music.
WIADCA partnered with Sesame Flyers International, Kaisokah Moko Jumbies USA, Inc., Pan in Motion and Batingua Arts Cultural Dance Program, to make its memorable debut under the titled presentation: ‘CaribFuturism: LOVE. CULTURE. PEOPLE’ – the show MUST go on!
NBC TV ‘Today’s’ hosts, Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker, witnessed the spectacle. Hoda in reading the script said, “The last Labor Day our city would have played host to the pomp and pageantry of the New York Carnival, but instead, they joined us today with a special performance entitled, CaribFuturism. This high-spirited group of cultural partners produced by WIADCA, celebrates many Caribbean islands, regularly representing Trinidad, Jamaica, Haiti, and Panama.” The participants also waved flags from Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Thank you to our cultural partner Pan in Motion for providing beautiful steep music to over 60 million today during our presentation of CaribFuturism at the virtual 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said the WIADCA Board and WIADCA Cares team members on its Facebook page.
The historic event was streamed on youtube.com/verizon and twitter.com/verizon platforms, and also hosted by Adamari Lopez, Rodner Figueroa, Jessica Carrillo, and Nastassja Bolivar for Telemundo. Mario Lopez hosted the Verizon stream.
Facebook pages also lit up with lively comments. Ally Gee said, “small mercies this season. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade recognized all cancelled parades including the West Indian American Day parade. Yes — our pageantry didn’t change although we are ignored each year! (Out of Evil Covid cometh good). Thanks, Macy’s!”
While, LaTonya Renee Conley, in expressing her view said, “Thank you for this powerful and beautiful performance. It’s inspirational and gave me strength during this time of loss and grieving of my mother. She loved butterflies and the same kind of music. The message I got from the performance is that she is okay.”
Nivrose Duncan said “great job WIADCA, for performing on Thanksgiving Day at the Macy’s Day Parade.”
“You guys looked amazing. I am a proud, proud Trini looking on from Trinidad,” said Kimmi Gomez.
“Great job by WIADCA performing on Thanksgiving Day at the Macy’s Day Parade,” said Nivrose Duncan, followed by Minna LaFortune who said, “So proud WIADCA!! We need to take a step further and get those costumes, and costume making videos in the African American Museum.”
“It is good to see our culture involved in the parade,” added Pat Clarke.