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West Indian American Day Carnival Week Celebrating The Rebirth Of New York

Although the much-loved Labor Day parade will take place online, WIADCA will hold a number of in-person events for Carnival 2021
West Indian Day Parade 2009- Brooklyn, NYC. Photo: Brian Lin/Wikimedia

Although the much-loved Labor Day Parade — a fixture of NYC's Carnival week — will not be returning to the streets this year, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) has announced a slate of other in-person activities that will take place this New York Carnival week.

This year, the festival will kick off on September 2 and run for three days, and organizers say after a year of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, New York City is experiencing a "rebirth" like no other and the festival will be celebrating just that.

"We were flexible with our programming this past year and focused more on helping our community through our WIADCA Cares programs," WIADCA Chairperson Michelle Gibbs-Francis said.

"As we transition through the COVID-19 pandemic we are seeing a rebirth of NYC and our organizational purposes reflected in our week long events for Carnival 2021."

Carnival week is one of the largest Caribbean carnivals in North America and has been running for over 54 years. The festival celebrates Caribbean heritage through arts, music, history and celebrations of cultural identity.

This year, WIADCA will host various events throughout Brooklyn, in-person and virtually, including NY Carnival Welcome Back, Youth Fest, Steel Pan Jamboree and other celebrations that will be co-sponsored with friends of the organization, including Brooklyn Museum.

Organizers said the uncertainties surrounding COVID- have led to the postponement of the annual Labor Day Parade, and there are plans to host the parade in person in September 2022.

No events are scheduled for Sunday, September 5, instead, the final act of the Carnival Week will be on Monday, September 6 with the "Jus' Like Mas'' Labor Day event.

Party-goers are invited to come costume ready with their Monday wear, and tickets for the event will include drinks, music trucks, DJs and live performances. For more information and to purchase, click here.

Carnival Week in-person events, run in partnership with Brooklyn Museum, include:

VOICE in Concert
Thursday, September 2 | 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Vibes With Voicey The Concert Tour

Welcome Back!
Friday, September 3 | 7:00pm
A cultural/musical experience that incorporates musicians and artists from the entire diaspora.  During this event we bring various genres of music to Brooklyn. Artists and DJs will be announced on a rolling basis and tickets are on sale.

Virtual International YOUTH FEST
Saturday, September 4 | 11:00am
Live Stream Performances:, YouTube, and Facebook
This year to ensure our youth are safe we will be hosting our Youth Fest virtually. An end of summer Caribbean Talent showcase promoting performing arts and cultural diversity where all performances are welcome.

Steel Pan Jamboree 
Saturday, September 4 | 7:00pm
This culturally enriching showcase is complete with live performances from steelbands, pan soloists, doubles, quartets and more. The audience will witness an immersive steel band experience with performances surrounding them on the lawn of the Brooklyn Museum. The audience will get the chance to select a winner.

Labor Day Monday Carnival "Jus' Like Mas" Powered by NY Carnival 
Monday, September 6 | 11:00am
This year we are doing it "Jus' Like Mas'' with the ultimate Labor Day Monday experience. The road experience is coming to the Brooklyn Museum with premium drinks and lots of beautiful Mas wear. All participants and guests are invited to come costume ready with their Monday wear. Included in the ticket are drinks, music trucks, Djs and live performances from the greatest Caribbean artists.