The 2013 West Indian Day Carnival — Brooklynian

The 2013 West Indian Day Carnival

Whether you are ready to think about the end of the summer or not, tickets are now (June 17, 2013) on sale for the labor day events that will be held behind the Brooklyn Museum:



    I think the event on EP is among the largest, but there is a whole schedule of carnivals that happen throughout the year:

  • At what point is someone a member of the press?

    I ask because (with your help) I/we have covered and written about this event for years.

    Here is what I/we wrote in 2012:

    Today, I (and many others) received this offer from WIADCA.

    Should I take this year's coverage to a different level?

    West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA)

    If you are a member of the press, please inbox your email address and telephone numbers, we have a special invite for you!

  • You are not press? However if you accept, please take me with you. :bounce: :lol:

  • Whether bloggers and other independent journalists are considered "press" varies according to the individual and the context. Some courts have extended first amendment privileges to some freelance journalists.

    It would be up to WIADCA to decide whether to extend press credentials to someone who is not employed by a news organization, and who has not (as far as I know) published news articles in recognized news media.

    Is Brooklynian a "recognized news medium"? Only to those of us who regularly post and/or lurk here.

  • I don't know if they are interested in issuing Press Credentials, so much as wanting to woo potential people who are going to write about them with a free dinner.

    I imagine they want to create an opportunity to impress such people that they are doing everything they can to work closely with the police and make this a safe event, and distance themselves from the armed, intoxicated, young men who marr it.

  • Go for it!!

  • I will.

    I am confident I can remain objective despite any free, yummy, jerk chicken they may bestow upon me.

  • I like jerk chicken.

  • I'll send what they sent me to your inbox.

    As a woman, you may stand a better chance of remaining objective in the event that the person serving said jerk chicken is covered solely by sparkles.

  • Update July 9: I have described my (lack of) credentials, and they have sent me an invite.

    Readers of Brooklynian-

    This year's perspective on the 2013 West Indian Day Carnival will be slightly different, but my coverage of the event may be nearly identical.

  • Tomorrow is the aforementioned event. In this instance, "special guest" means "curious onlooker":

    West Indian American Day Carnival Association Launches New York Caribbean Carnival 2013

    Brooklyn NY, July 11, 2013—The West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) now in its 46th year, is set to launch its five-day Caribbean Carnival schedule for 2013. The events which are carded for August 29th through September 2nd, will feature cultural displays and entertainment from all the Caribbean Islands.

    President of WIADCA, Thomas Bailey, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; Caribbean-American elected officials; corporate sponsors and special guests are expected to attend the official launch at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn on Thursday 11th July, 2013 at 12:00 noon, where the theme and format for this year's events will be revealed. A networking reception will follow later that afternoon hosted by WIADCA with its partners, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and St Francis College and will be held at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights at 6:00 pm.

    This annual event has become the largest cultural festival in the country, drawing over three million people each year. New York residents and international visitors all assemble to attend one of the greatest shows on earth that kicks off annually on the Thursday before Labor Day. These events features live performances, King, Queen and individual masqueraders of the band competitions, a night dedicated to Steelpan (Panorama) competition and concludes with a colorful parade of the bands on Labor Day, where thousands of masqueraders in elaborate costumes followed by gigantic music trucks and scores of colorful floats take to Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Pulsating rhythms and melodies of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Zouk, Latin, Chutney and Steelpan can be heard throughout the five days of festivities. Additionally, the air is filled with tantalizing aromas of delicious Caribbean Cuisine from hundreds of vendors that line both sides of Eastern Parkway. The Carnival Parade begins at 11 am from Schenectady Ave to Grand Army Plaza, ending at 6:00 pm.

    The events leading up to the Carnival Parade include:

    1. Caribbean Woodstock - Features masquerade competitions and performances by artists from over a dozen Caribbean Islands, performing Soca, Calypso, Reggae, Zouk and Latin music.

    2. "Stay in School” - Youth Talent Show - FREE for all children

    3. Brass Fest – An electrifying musical performance with headliner Machel Montano HD and others

    4. Steelpan Panorama competition - Featuring a special guest performance by New York University's Steel Orchestra.

    5. Junior Carnival - Masquerade parade and competition for children under the age of 16

    6. Dimanche Gras - Features world renowned panists - Robert Greenidge, Andy Narell and Liam Teague, along with an exciting all-star cast and much more.

    WIADCA is a 501 © 3, tax-exempt not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting Caribbean culture to enrich our communities and engages in year-round educational, social and cultural activities.

    WIADCA Website is: Email: Telephone: 718-467-1797. Address: 323 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225.

    This event is merely ONE of many events which attempts to define the organization's role in the scope of the overall weekend.

    Every year, the organization has an epic PR task. Some year's, it is more successful than others...

  • WIADCA is now sending out daily press updates, emphasizing that they are sponsoring a variety of events, and demonstrating that they are not to be defined by J'ouvert (an event that they have nothing to do with), or the parade (an event they have something to do with, but no one is really in control of...)


    Caribbean Carnival 2013 launches in Brooklyn NY

    Monday 15th July, 2013: Awestruck spectators and scores of press representatives thronged the courtyard of Brooklyn Borough Hall this past Thursday as dozens of costumed masqueraders in a hue of colors paraded on the plaza and steps to the sweet rhythm of steel pan music. The show was staged by the West Indian Day American Carnival Association (WIADCA) to launch the 46th production of the annual 5-day cultural Festival.

    Government officials and business persons were present to endorse the event, which was MC’d by Ian ‘Goose’ Eligon who introduced the exuberant Borough President, Marty Markowitz, followed by elected officials Jumaani Williams, Letitia James, Frank Seddio, Chairman of the Kings County Democratic Party and others. Deputy Consul General of Antigua & Barbuda Omyma David represented the diplomatic corps at the speakers’ podium along with Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s President & CEO, Carlo Scissura, who pledged the Chamber’s support to WIADCA and Brooklyn business-woman Dolly Williams. This will be the first year that the Carnival, (which goes down Eastern Parkway and generates a lot of business for Brooklyn), will have a partnership with the Chamber. Mr. Scissura, explained “the Chamber would help raise money for the Carnival, by encouraging merchants to offer Carnival-related deals and help sponsor events.

    Thomas Bailey, President of WIADCA announced the theme of the Carnival “Celebrating Caribbean Pride and Culture” and encouraged the New York business and general community to get involved in sponsorships, or volunteering time and resources. He listed the impressive line-up of events for 2013 including:

    1. Caribbean Woodstock – Thursday Aug 29th at 7pm

    2. Stay In School Youth Talent Show – Friday Aug 30th - Daytime

    3. Brass Fest – Friday 30th Aug 2013 at 8pm

    4. Kiddies Carnival – Aug 31st - Daytime

    5. Steelband Panorama – Aug 31st at 8pm

    6. Dimanche Gras – Sep’t 1st at 7pm

    All shows will be held on the grounds of Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York.


    Bailey recalled that the group started the Carnival after requests from musicians, crafts people, artists, and others who were nostalgic for their homelands.

  • So I was traveling last week and I ran into a guy who used to live in Crown Heights. We talked for a bit and he told me that he was really happy he no longer has to deal with the parade. I honestly didn't think the parade was all that bad last year but apparently it was really bad when it first started.

  • Some years, the mood is calm and the parade meets my definition of "family friendly".

    Many years, it is marred by violence.

    When the parade is violent, the organizers (namely WIADCA) seem to state that the coverage of the violence is sensational and out of proportion. In response, someone then publicly accuses WIADCA of not caring about violence.

    In response, some entity says that it is the NYPD (not WIADCA) that doesn't care about violence, and then comes the predictable apex of the drama: Someone perceives this as being all about race and states that none of this would happen if everyone could just be the same hue as them.

    In response to this predictable outcome, it seems like the parade becomes the large elephant in the room that NO ONE wants to talk about.

    For example, the Chamber of Commerce and WIADCA seem to be encouraging the media to gear their coverage toward the events behind the museum, because those are the ones they have the most influence over:

    While well run, these events are attended by only a tiny fraction of the people who attend the parade. Hence, I think most people are going to continue define the celebration as the parade ...and blame WIADCA for "controlling and planning it", despite WIADCA efforts to differentiate itself from it.

    I don't know how we will ever get to a point in which someone in a position of authority bravely, clearly and convincing states:

    "No one dislikes the events behind the museum; Stop talking about them.

    We want to talk about the various factors that go into creating the entire weekend and we are mature enough to know that the organizers and police have limited control over that."

  • Whynot, I feel that every organization, company, government agency, nonprofit and loved one points to something their doing well to hid something their not doing well. The misdirection argument flaw is one the biggest if not biggest logical fallacies. It is not a coincidence that it is basic human nature.

    I believe that the parade will continue to get calmer and calmer. But in the mean time I'm not sure what WIADCA and the organizers can do to keep it calm. The only three things I can think of is to hire more security, arrange for more cops to come, and hand out free cold water.

    I don't believe it's fair to blame the NYPD here. They seem to truck in a ton of cops. What else other than calling off the parade can they do? Which of course the community would rightfully scream bloody murder about.

    That being said the WIADCA should show some spine and own up to the fact that violence does happen during the parade and their events. They should show leadership and say "your right violence happens during West Indian Day but we are working to reduce it."

    By the way who plans and organizes the parade? The WIADCA parade talks about vendors so I'm guessing they do. But no one seems to want to take responsibility for actually organizing it.

  • Everyone plays a role. No one is therefore in charge.

  • I'm in charge of eating doubles and curried roti.

  • I am in charge of seeing co-workers dressed in only sparkles, and then assuring them I won't think of them differently when I see them next at work.

  • Today, July 26, is the last day to buy tickets at early bird prices:

  • Every year I swear I'm not going to go then as people strut in front of my building as they walk toward Eastern Parkway in elaborate feathers, sequins, and sparkles, I can't help's as if I'm following the Pied Piper's flute...only the music comes from steel drums. Actually I love jouve most of all.

  • If you are in the neighborhood for the weekend, it is best just to embrace it.

    Last year, it did not seem as crowded as prior years. I'm sure there hundreds of theories as to why this happened, and others who will insist it was just my perception.

    They could all be right.

  • August 1. About four weeks to go.

    The mainstream press begins:

    The comments at the end are the ones we hear every year..

  • I'm sure many West Indians are glad to see that there is a new Caribbean Premier League in cricket. I have watched some of these matches on cricfree tv and they have been very exciting.

    My hope being that some day soon we shall see the Windies at the top of the ICC standings as in the good old days of Sir Vivian Richards and other greats.

  • As discussed above, the WIADCA is throwing the "events behind the museum".

    For the first time, it seems as if they have real competition; The Barclays arena has also stepped up to accept cash and credit cards in exchange for entertainment:

    photo: Daily News

    Daily News wrote: Riding high on the waves made by the annual Labor Day Caribbean festivities, the star-filled, three-day Caribbean Fever Irie Jamboree Music Festival will be debut at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, opening Aug. 30 and continuing through Sept. 1.

    Creole sounds, reggae, dancehall, soca, calypso and more will be reverberating in the Barclays Center during the Caribbean Fever Irie Jamboree Music Festival.

    A hot lineup of top-ranked creole, reggae, dancehall, soca, calypso and worldbeat music stars will be appearing at the festival, beginning with the opening “International Night,” starring Wyclef Jean, Kassav, Tabou Combo and Djakout #1. Aug. 31 is “Carnival-Mania,” and features the best calypso and soca performers, such as Alison Hinds, Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons, Iwer George, Edwin Yearwood and Tallpree.

    And “Irie Jamboree,” the reggae and dancehall segment of the festival, will be held on Sept.1, starring Damian Marley, Shabba Ranks, I-Octane and others.

    Door open at 7 p.m. and shows start at 8 p.m.

    For tickets, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, visit online at or call (646) 474-9048 for information.


    Game on....

    BTW, here's a historical account of NYC's West Indian Day Parade:

  • Aug 21, apparently their was a cocktail reception at Borough Hall last night.

    All the major players were there.

    ...I wasn't.

    She was:

  • Aug 22:

    In preparation for the large parade, the parks people have begun putting up those wooden fences around the plants in the median of Grand Army Plaza.

  • Aug 28:

    Once upon a time, one knew that Labor Day was approaching because you'd see steel bands practicing, people walking on stilts, lines at the liquor stores, and music throughout the night.

    Now, it is much more subdued. The first concert behind the museum takes place tomorrow, and I hope it brings the area to life.

  • Few weeks back I had a guy come into the office who wanted liability insurance required by the Board of Ed for a group to practice in a schoolyard in the neighborhood. Couldn't find a company that wanted to write the policy as he only needed it for a month. Was a big group though, over 100 performers so I guess there will be quite a few groups of similar size.

  • I've seen a few pop-up costume stores, and certainly heard some groups practicing.

    I do hope a lot of steel bands show up; I like them more than the 18 wheelers with 15' high speakers.

    ...the latter does not strike me as being evidence of talent, hard work, or pride.

    I expect lots of city politicians this year as well.

  • I think that you'll probably see and hear more preparations if you go over to the PLG side of Empire and into Flatbush. The sense I get is that the changes in the neighborhood have pushed a lot of the preparations out of the area.

    The influx of bars and restaurants have resulted in fewer landlords that are looking to enter into 8-12 week leases for space. There are three storefronts on Nostrand currently doing costume prep between Fulton and EP that I know of. Ten years ago there were probably 3 times as many not to mention a similar number on Franklin Avenue. A lot of the places that were used by steel pan groups for practice on Grand, Classon, etc have been converted from garages and auto shops to residential or commercial space.

  • Yes.

    As a result, it all seems much less intense in "the area I walk my dog"

    ---> roughly the rectangle formed by Vanderbilt, Atlantic, Brooklyn Avenue and Crown St<---

    It now feels as if the parade is going to visit the area, as opposed to emanate from it.

    <small>View Larger Map</small>

  • Did anyone else notice the NYPD bucket truck with an ESU type truck behind it going down Eastern yesterday? It looked like they were setting up more surveillance cameras. Not sure if this has to do with the parade or if the timing is coincidence. However, I'm banking on the former.

    I would like it to be stated for the record that I welcome our government minders and that Big Brother always knows best.

  • NewGuy, you didn't have to state that for the record. Big Brother already knows what you think.

  • As a result of NYPD cameras and lots of people making videos of the parade on their cell phones, I expect that we will get really good photos of anyone who commits a crime along the parade route.

    ...especially if the offender happens to be a shapely female and dressed almost exclusively in sparkles.

  • wondering the over/under on there being more deaths than last year

  • Many people don't realize that Big Brother is a blood relative to Uncle Sam.

  • PG-

    In this instance, Raymond Kelly is responsible for feeding Big Brother.


    You'd have to define the parameters before I make a prediction.

    I.E. Just the day of the parade? Actually along the parade route, or within 1/2 mile of it?

    J'ouvert is a seperate event and should be counted seperately, right?'ouvert

  • Saw a bunch of barriers either up or waiting to be put up around Kensington Ave today.

  • Some of the new trees they planted on the new Eastern Parkway median by the museum have died, simply because they were new trees.

    They have put little fences around all of the alive ones, but not bothered to do so with the dead ones.

    ...makes me believe they might be able to optimize their time and resources.

  • photos of the Saturday children's parade, taken by myself and friends:

  • The Curry chicken stands are going up! I can taste it already!

  • Hey WhyNot, was that ClayFilms little one in that first picture being held by Daddy.?

  • BTW, J'Ouvert is 2 AM - 6 AM Monday Morning. GAP, Flabush, Rogers and Empire should all be quite busy.


    Really long video from last year's J'Ourvert:

  • newguy88 said:

    The Curry chicken stands are going up! I can taste it already!

    Although it is Sunday night, they are serving food already!

    Some stands have even brought entire chest freezers, which they are powering by generators. Tomorrow is hopefully a profitable day!

  • The overnight festivities have made the NYPD and FDNY busy locally:

    Assist Officer | Eastern Parkway & Rogers Avenue Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 7:29 a.m.

    Robbery | Rogers Avenue & Sullivan Place Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 7:09 a.m.

    10-13 Over The Air | Franklin Avenue & President Street Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 5:13 a.m.

    Assist Officer | Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 4:20 a.m.

    Assist Officer | Nostrand Avenue & Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 3:49 a.m.

    Slashing | Eastern Parkway & Classon Avenue Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 3:48 a.m.

    Shots Fired | Franklin Avenue & Carroll Street Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 3:33 a.m.

    Large Fight | Nostrand Avenue & Fenimore Street Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 3:26 a.m.

    Shooting | Flatbush Avenue & Beekman Place Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 2:25 a.m.

    Foot Pursuit | Flatbush Avenue & Lincoln Road Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 2:09 a.m.

    Large Crowd | Bedford Avenue & Montgomery Street Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 1:36 a.m.

    Foot Pursuit | Utica Avenue & Montgomery Street Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 1:13 a.m.

    Large Crowd | Flatbush Avenue & Church Avenue Brooklyn, NY | 9/2/2013 1:00 a.m.

  • Heard there was a shooting at Grand Army Plaza this morn. and unofficially the weekend was begun with man with a gun chasing another thru the childrens playground at Brower Park around five p.m. see you at the get together on Tuesday!

  • It's not a parade until there's gun-play.

  • Approximately 1:45 PM, the last of the politicians finally pass the Brooklyn Museum.

    The large speaker trucks follow.

    2:30 PM. What is expected to be a soaking rain, begins.

  • I saw it looked like rain and bolted at around 2. Glad I'd did. Ugh I think my bones are still vibrating from the semis with the sound systems. But over all I had a blast! Was it just me or was the crowd chiller this year?

  • One's experience of the parade often depends on where one is located within it:


    NYPD Units requesting assistance for large disorderly group at this location of the West Indian Day Parade.

    Utica Avenue & Union Street

    Brooklyn, NY

    9/2/2013 3:01 p.m.

    4:00 the rain has stopped.

    Early press:

    Assist Police


    Eastern Pky And New York Av

    Brooklyn, NY

    9/2/2013 4:50 p.m.

  • In 2012, the violence began to surge as the parade ended. 2013 is looking similar:

    Breaking News Network wrote: Shooting


    1680 Bedford Ave

    Brooklyn, NY

    9/2/2013 5:45 p.m.

    This is near Ebbets Field houses (Montgomery St)

    ...the Sanitation vehicles have begun the clean up of the parade route.


    Rochester Ave & Eastern Pkway

    Brooklyn, NY

    9/2/2013 6:33 p.m.
  • The police helicopters seem to be spending a fair bit of time flying east to west tonight.

  • Large Crowd

    Additional units requested to the location regards assistance dispersing a large, disorderly crowd.

    102 Utica Avenue

    Brooklyn, NY

    9/2/2013 6:59 p.m.

    I think opening up the streets to cars is part of the NYPD's crowd dispersal strategy. They street cleaned and reopened EP at around 6:45. Now, they are giving the food vendors a little while to load everything on uhauls on the service roads

    Then, sanitation will clean the service roads and let people park again.

    Taken by friends:

    Those who would like to see more photos of the costumes and the politicians, are encouraged to see this story by the Daily News.

    24 photos --->

  • Great coverage from the patch on the parade. Actually kind of insane how they managed to ignore it.

  • A lot of the after parade excitement seems to be happening South of EP

    Large Crowd

    Task Force has been mobilized, aviation enroute.

    Nostrand Avenue & Crown Street

    Brooklyn, NY

    9/2/2013 7:58 p.m.
  • The shootings that happened at approx 5:45 near Ebbets Field resulted in arrests:

    The stabbing at 6:33 at EP and Rochester is mentioned, but his condition is not provided.

    And, that's it for tonight's coverage!

    ...See everyone at the Parade, Museum Events and Barclays again in 2014!

    Welcome to Fall!

  • A couple police vans loaded with cops and a cruiser just rolled by my window. One of the vans was driving in reverse! Hope they were just transporting cops.

  • The parade didn't seem to have many people this year. One could actually stretch without any hindrance. The pace of the parade seemed lethargic. Walk a few feet, stop, wait to move again, repeat. Still, I liked it. I especially liked seeing steamed lobster and clams being offered at the stalls.

  • Read this today and thought of conversations had about the West Indian Day parade

    Not the same thing by any means...but it brings up some thoughtful points.  Never too early to look to Labor Day!
  • xlizellx-
    I'm presently looking forward to summer beginning, not its ceremonial end.

    That said, yes, the article does bring up some good points.    In my mind, it brings up the balance that the WIDCA has to walk between "selling out" and "keeping it real".

    I found the "not WIDCA" events at Barclay's Arena to be very telling.   They provided direct competition to the events WIDCA sponsors behind the museum, and have further allowed people to celebrate NY's carnival week within their class.

    Given everyone's attempt to distance themselves from the actual parade, it could end up being an event that is mainly patronized by those "not committed enough" and/or "too poor" to attend the pay events.


This discussion has been closed.