West Indian American Day Parade delivers stunning visuals of rich Caribbean culture

BROOKLYN, NY - JULY 18: The 69th annual West Indian Day Parade took place along Eastern Parkway in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday Sept. 7, 2015. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
BROOKLYN, NY – JULY 18: The 69th annual West Indian Day Parade took place along Eastern Parkway in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday Sept. 7, 2015. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media

This Labor Day, the annual West Indian American Day Parade adorned the Brooklyn streets with colorful costumes, dancing, signature Caribbean dishes, island music, and good spirits.

The parade — which began in the 1930s in Harlem and was relocated to Brooklyn in the 1960s — allows attendees to experience some of the best parts of Caribbean culture, whether it be salt fish, reggae, or beautiful women dressed as if they were at a carnival in Barbados or Trinidad.

The costumes were certainly the main attraction. Some women wore enormous feathers, facial art, and decorative material that covered their bodies. Others wore creative outfits that resembled animals.

Although a great time is had by those who take part in the festivities, there are many who choose not to attend for fear of violence breaking out. Several shootings and stabbings have occurred near the parade in the past few years, and a man was shot near the celebration Monday.

While walking from a West Indian American Day pre-parade party, Carey Gabay, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was struck in the head in a crossfire between two gangs, Yahoo! News reported. He is currently in a coma at Kings County Hospital.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio says that the parade is getting safer each year.

“The NYPD has made this parade safer year after year. That is the fact,” he said. “As you see, crime is going down in the city because of the efforts of the NYPD.”

View pictures from the festivities below.

Kacie Whaley
Kacie Whaley

I'm a writer and philosopher.





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