After a two-year Covid hiatus, New York City’s annual West Indian American Day Carnival, a celebration of Caribbean history, culture, music, food and people, is returning for its 55th year to Brooklyn! 

Carnival Culture, Brooklyn Museum, BK Reader, West Indian Day Parade, J'Ouvert, community safety, women safety, Caribbean safety culture, Lyrika, caribBeing, carnival, Rosamond S. King, Shelley Werrell, Nicole "Zyoness, Crowley, Pastor Monrolse,
photo credit: Gregory L. Ingram for BK Reader

The annual Labor Day parade along Eastern Parkway, stretching from Schenectady Avenue to Grand Army Plaza, will kick off on Monday, September 5, at 11:00am. With close to a million expected attendees, the streets will be filled with revelers, dressed in colorful costumes and dancing “pon de road” to the sounds of reggae, soca, calypso and dancehall.

West Indian Day Parade, Brooklyn, Labor Day Parade, 2017, 50th Anniversary, Caribbean culture, Eastern Parkway, Crown Heights, BK Reader, Dante Bowen

Revelers who want to warm up for the grand carnival can begin the celebration with J’Ouvert, the annual predawn street party preceding the West Indian Parade.

Originating from French word “jour ouvert” means daybreak or morning and signals the start of carnival. Steel band music is the dominating sound of J’Ouvert, as revelers take to the street, throwing paint and baby powder on each other while winding up for the celebration in the early hours before the daytime West Indian Day Carnival.

As in recent years, the parade formation will begin at 6:00am on Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard. The parade will then proceed south on Flatbush Avenue, east on Empire Boulevard and turn south on Nostrand Avenue to the finish area at Midwood Street.

This year, the celebration will start with a number of pre-festival events:

Saturday, September 3  

Junior Carnival Parade

The parade “assembles at Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place and then continues on St. John’s Place, making a left on Franklin Avenue. On Franklin Avenue, proceed to President Street and make a right. The parade continues on President into the Brooklyn Museum.

Where/When:  Brooklyn Museum, 9:00am – 4:00pm; Buy tickets here

Pan in Mirror

Steel band performances with

  • Tyler Cohen and Friends
  • Unison Steel Orchestra
  • Island Interlude with Andre White
  • Steel Sensation
  • Kendall K. Williams and Pan in Motion
  • Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra (PESO)

Where/When: Brooklyn Museum, 7:00pm; Buy tickets here

Sunday, September 4

Paintopia Jouvert 

With DJs:

  • Miami Dream Team
  • Kevin Crown
  • Tony X
  • Travis world & Major Penny
  • Riggo Suave
  • MIlo Myles
  • Backyard & Xpo
  • Jr Cruiza & Selecta Jb
  • Paddy & Young Tec.
  • Starkid

Where/When: Brooklyn Museum, 7:00am – 2:00pm; Buy tickets here 

AmnesiaSoca and Dancehall event

Where/When: Brooklyn Museum, 3:00pm – 11:00pm; Buy tickets here

Monday, September 5

Labor Day Carnival  and Parade 

The parade will start at 11:00am at Schenectady Avenue and finish at Grand Army Plaza.

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