Dedicated to the 50 years of independence being regaled by Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, the significant day-long, street party along Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway begins after the youngest grand marshal — ever to parade the route – 38-year-old Machel Montano join perhaps, one of the oldest, 85-year-old, Harry Belafonte, a son of Jamaica, actor, activist and singer at Schenectady for a slow walk to the Brooklyn Museum.
The intergenerational duo will represent the first islands in the English-speaking Caribbean to demand self-rule from Great Britain at the 2012 celebration of the West Indian-American Day Carnival Association’s (WIADCA) Labor Day.
Montano and Belafonte were named to open the parade of 40 masquerade bands and millions of revelers on Sept. 3, the unofficial last day of summer.
“History, Culture and Unity” will inscribe the theme of the parade along the unofficial Caribbean boulevard.
Montano, best known for his soca and calypso recordings that initially promoted “Big Truck” carnival fetes will walk alongside Belafonte, the first and most successful calypso recording artist.
Belafonte’s “Day-O” is alleged to out-sell all prior recordings, spawned a move to account for record sales and launched the organization to honor achieving musical artists with a Grammy award.
While Jamaica’s reggae music has been down-played throughout the years during the annual festivity “for the first time in many years top soca & reggae artists will headline the popular “Brass Fest.”
On Aug. 31, dancehall reggae talent Mr. Vegas from Jamaica will perform on the same stage with Machel Montano, T&T’s premier soca star.
Earlier in the day, a “Youth Stay In School Program” also invites youths to the rear of the Brooklyn Museum.
The Steel Band Panorama Competition kicks off the following evening from the same location after a Junior Carnival and Competition daytime event.
“Dimanche Gras” promise an all-Star line-up which include Calypso Rose, Shadow, King Ajamu, Black Stalin and many others along with winners of all competitions, Something Positive Dance Troupe, traditional costume characters and “Pan around the neck” steel band.
In addition to the pair of musical, Caribbean marshalls, honorary grand marshalls to the spectacle include: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Christine Quinn, City Council speaker and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.