CROWN HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN (WPIX)—The 44th Annual West Indian-American Day Carnival (better known as the West Indian Day Parade) kicked off this Labor Day in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, once again this year. Festivities actually began on September 1st, and culminate in the Labor Day parade which runs form 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Eastern Parkway.
This year's theme is "One Carribbean Family" and the parade is a celebration of Carribean cultures represented here in New York, including traditions from Trinidad, Haiti, Jamaica and Guyana.
Highlights include calypso and soca music; food, including callaloo, curried goat, coconut cake and oxtail; and, of course, the feathered and sequined parade costumes.
Monday's parade caps off days of events, including Saturday's Kiddie Parade, and Sunday's "J'Ouvert," a pre-dawn festival featuring steel drums and costumes that mock political issues, celebrities, and significant events.
Spectators are urged to dress comfortably, wear comfortable shoes, drink lots of water, and bring their country flag to wave.
Touted as the biggest parade in New York City, the parade is expected to draw up to 3.5 million people.