Is it possible for a moving oasis of color and beauty to thrive on the streets of Brooklyn, New York? Well, at least for one day out of the year it is possible. The West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day was a success as energetic revelers put their majestic costumed creations on display as they danced and ‘chipped down de road’ freely to Soca music. Many costumed bands competed for prizes as judges seated at the end of the route in front of the Brooklyn Museum gave scores to each band and each section within the band. The bands this year ranged from the ever present, ever winning Sesame Flyers with the theme “Caribbean Heritage” to the still thriving, first costumed band to reach the United States, Borokeete U.S.A. with this year’s theme, “Beauty of the Dark Continent”.
For those who are not familiar with “Carnival”, here is a brief history. In the late 1700’s, Carnival was introduced to Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies by the French. The elaborate masquerade balls evolved into the multi-cultural spectacle that we see today. Lighting up the streets in every city it takes hold of, Carnival, with the addition of steel pan, calypso and soca music, has spread all throughout the Caribbean, the U.S. and the world. Cities such as Houston, Miami, Tampa, Toronto, Montreal, Notting Hill, United Kingdom etc., are all fortunate enough to get to experience the Carnival Fever every year.
Although many do not look forward to the end of summer, the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn is always welcomed with eager anticipation by adults and children alike and it never disappoints. Until next year…