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VIDEO: Brooklyn's West Indian Day Parade 2023 — a Roaring Love Letter to the Caribbean

Tens of thousands of participants — including Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams — gathered on Eastern Parkway this Monday for the West Indian Day Parade

On Labor Day, revelers flocked to Eastern Parkway for the 56th Annual West Indian Day Parade: a spectacular carnival extravaganza of all things Caribbean.

The parade — which featured steel drum bands, stilt-walkers and dancers in elaborate regalia and giant floats hosted by community partners — is one of the largest celebrations of Caribbean heritage, food, culture and people outside the islands.

Tens of thousands of participants from all over the world — including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Gov. Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and other elected officials — attended the West Indian Day Parade, which is put on each year by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.

The day started with J'Ouvert, an annual early-morning street festival celebrating the end of slavery in the Caribbean. J'Ouvert featured traditions including body painting, storytelling and dancing. The word "J'Ouvert" comes from the French word for daybreak. 

The West Indian Day Parade was the final event of New York Carnival Week in Brooklyn.

Katey St. John

About the Author: Katey St. John

Katey St John is a journalist, documentary filmmaker, activist, and baker whose passions lie where food and sustainability intersect.
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