• Grace Novak

A Party in the Streets of Brooklyn

Updated: Apr 20, 2019

Now that I'm here in NYC, I plan to spend every weekend (especially during my first and second semester) trying to do or see something new to get to know the city. This labor day weekend, my roommate (who's Haitian) was all excited about going to see the West-Indian Parade which marches down toward the Brooklyn Museum all the way to Grand Army Plaza. It's a 7-hour event and invites all those who hail from the Caribbean (and it seems like anybody else as well) to dress up, dance and party in the parade.

The costumes, head-dresses and attire were the best part of the spectacle. The "masqueraders" were dressed from head to toe in feathers and their countries respective colors. It was an amazing way to celebrate the diversity and beauty of the Caribbean people. The strutted their way past the crowds of people watching, dancing and waving their flags with vigor. It was fun to just be there and feel the music and excitement. The beats were so loud sometimes you could feel it in your chest. At some point, I had to bow out a little bit earlier than my roommates, knowing for sure a migraine would be coming if I stayed much longer - it's a tough life being sensitive to headaches, but I got to stay for about half of it and see most of the floats.

The parade wasn't the only cool part of the festivities. There were carts, stands and people set-up all down Eastern Parkway selling food, drinks (including suspiciously unmarked alcoholic ones called "Firecrackers"), masks, and handmade goods to help celebrate. I didn't buy much besides lunch and a cheap whistle (which I figured could serve another purpose besides celebrating in the future). There were these beautiful hand-crafted flowers being made using all kinds of metallic fabric and paper (which I stupidly neglected to get a picture of), and a variety of jewelry being sold.

This was my first parade in NYC and a great one to start me off. I can't wait to see what other kinds of parades and festivals the city has to offer - I heard there was a Halloween parade in the Village at the end of October and I am SO down for that.

#WestIndianparade #brooklyn #parades