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.
West Indian-American Day Carnival and Parade
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!
If you’re staying in the city over this long Labor Day weekend, start September off right by giving in to your cultural lust. Head to Times Square to sample the newest art film for #MidnightMoment or kick off the reopening of galleries with DUMBO’s first Thursday Gallery Walk of the season. Sample artist Boy Kong’s museum-influenced show at Gitler and the Affordable Art Fair, or hit up one of the Metropolitan Opera’s free screenings al fresco outside of Lincoln Center. You can also experience Washington Square Park as Jackson Pollock did with the annual outdoor art exhibition, and combine two things you never thought would mix at the Public Address Gallery: conceptual art and karaoke. And don’t forget the long-standing multi-cultural tradition of the epic West Indian-American Day Carnival and Parade (bring feathers and glitter!).