By Devin Gannon, Thu, September 1, 2022
Photo courtesy of Carnaval.com Studios on Flickr
For the first time since 2019, New York City’s West Indian-American Day Carnival and Parade will return to Brooklyn this Labor Day. After a two-year Covid hiatus, the festival, which typically attracts over a million spectators, will be back fully in-person this year. The days-long festival takes over the stretch of Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, celebrating the diversity of Caribbean culture with dancing, elaborate costumes, traditional music, and food.
What you need to know
By Aaron Ginsburg, Wed, August 24, 2022
Labor Day is a holiday spent recognizing American workers. The holiday’s history can be traced to New York City in the late 19th century as unions and labor movements gained traction within the working class. Calls for a national holiday resounded amongst laborers, and the first Labor Day Parade was held in Union Square on September 5, 1882. In addition to being a celebration of unions, the holiday also represents the unofficial last weekend of summer. Ahead, find out some of the best ways to celebrate the long weekend in NYC, from attending the historic Labor Day Parade on Fifth Avenue to witnessing “one-wheel madness” at the NYC Unicycle Festival.
Full list here
By Emily Nonko, Fri, September 3, 2021
An illustration of the first Labor Day parade, via Wiki Commons
Though Labor Day has been embraced as a national holiday–albeit one many Americans don’t know the history of–it originated right here in New York City as a result of the city’s labor unions fighting for worker’s rights throughout the 1800s. The event was first observed, unofficially, on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882, with thousands marching from City Hall up to Union Square. At the time, the New York Times considered the event to be unremarkable. But 138 years later, we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of every September as a tribute to all American workers. It’s also a good opportunity to recognize the hard-won accomplishments of New York unions to secure a better workplace for us today.
Keep reading for the full history
By Devin Gannon, Thu, August 19, 2021
Mermaid Parade 2018; Photo Credit: © Norman Blake
Two of New York City’s most vibrant parades won’t take place in person this summer for the second year in a row. Due to the spike in coronavirus cases, organizers of both the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island and the West Indian American Day Carnival along Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway have postponed their in-person parades until next year.
Find out more
By Alexandra Alexa, Thu, August 29, 2019
Image via Flickr
The unofficial end of summer is here and many New Yorkers will celebrate the long Labor Day weekend by getting out of town for a quick getaway. To make things a little easier, the MTA will provide extra service on the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and to Staten Island on Friday, August 30 in addition to suspending all lane closures at its bridges and tunnels throughout the entire weekend. If you’re planning an escape, note the following service changes before you go.
Everything you need to know
By Devin Gannon, Wed, August 28, 2019
Via Run With Scissors on Flickr
Every Labor Day, millions of people gather in Brooklyn to celebrate Caribbean culture at the West Indian-American Day Carnival. Since the early 20th century, the Carnival, which first got its start in the United States in Harlem, has brought together New Yorkers through beautiful costumes, music, dance, and food of the West Indies. Starting in the 1960s, the festival has taken over Crown Heights‘ Eastern Parkway, uniting many islands (Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Haiti, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and Grenda, Guyana, Suriname and Belize, and others) in one extravagant party. As one of New York City’s largest, and certainly most colorful, events, the Carnival should not be missed. Ahead, learn about the history of the parade, the traditions that thrive to this day and the details of this year’s festival.
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