Officially named the West Indian American Day Carnival, this is the Biggest parade, street fair or festival in New York City, simply the biggest cultural event of the year.
The parade is held in Brooklyn's historic Crown Heights neighborhood. The parade route begins at the corner of Rochester & Eastern Parkway and ends near the Grand Army Plaza where non-masqueraders can jump up with the bands.
There are hundreds of floats and huge (loud!) sound trucks many with live performers, tens of "carnival krewes" in rainbow-hued, peacock-feather-enhanced costumes, many masqueraders and hundreds of food and goods stands make this celebration of Caribbean life in New York City the highpoint of the festival year.
There will be plenty of food to taste on Carnival Day. All of Eastern Parkway will be host to various dishes from every Caribbean island. There will be stands lined up along the service roads selling jerk chicken, chicken stew, fried chicken, beef stew, oxtail, rice and peas, salad, macaroni pie, fried flying fish, curry goat, roti, callaloo, souse, salt fish, fried bake, coconut bread, and much more. There is plenty to choose from, whatever your diet may be.
Additionally there are stands of vendors lined up selling foods, crafts, books, clothing, art, jewelry, and much more.
A Few Tips from the The West Indian-American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA):
1.) Come out early. The parade gets bigger each year with over 3 million participants on the Parkway. Police crowd barriers make it difficult to walk around, so you should find a good spot early where you can see clearly. You should be very patient; the thickness of the crowd makes things move slowly.
2.) Dress comfortably. Wear shoes that you can walk long distances in. people will be stepping on your toes so open toe sandals are not recommended.
3.) Drink plenty of water. The sun will be on your head for hours, coupled with the crowds; it is easy to get dehydrated. Some people have been known to faint from being overwhelmed with heat so it is important to stay cool.
4.) Bring your flag! Represent your country with your national flag or rag. Don?t be the one left out!
5.) Get plenty of rest. For those who are going to J'Ouvert the night before, playing mas, or both, it is imperative to get enough rest before going on the Parkway. People have suffered from exhaustion and dehydration in the past.
6.) HAVE FUN! Carnival time is a time for celebration. There is no room for sour faces. Come out and enjoy yourselves.
The people are all out for a great time and there are not many of the disturbances that have been associated with other parades in the past few years. Most folk seem to go out of their way to avoid problems -- everyone knows that it's hot and sticky and crowded and noisy -- and they make the best of it
Tips On the Best Places to see the Parade Courtesy of Jim's Deli: Some people think the best place to view the parade is between the Brooklyn Museum and Grand Army Plaza. True, this area gives some great views, but you miss half the fun.
We much prefer getting off the subway at the Franklin Avenue stop and walking East along Eastern Parkway for a few blocks, crossing over to the North side of the Parkway, then walking back West toward Grand Army Plaza
Official Website: http://www.wiadca.com/
Added by Talent Driven Network on June 11, 2008