Safety A Big Priority As Countdown Begins To West Indian American Day Carnival

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 9, 2013: On the heels of the death of 18-year-old Rueshad Grant at the Toronto carnival last weekend, organizers of North America’s largest carnival insist security will again be of utmost priority at the staging of the 46th annual West Indian American Day Carnival.

Spokesperson Jean Alexander insists that the organizers remain proactive as they have in past years when it comes to security to ensure nothing like what happens at the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto happens this Labor Day weekend.

Grant died after being dragged under a tractor trailer in the hours following the Caribbean Carnival parade on Lake Shore Blvd. in Toronto on Saturday, August 3rd.His mother, Shaundell Ramessar shared her pain on Facebook saying he is “frozen into a brick of ice” because of the tragedy.

“ … the light is gone but wait at the end of the tunnel for me,” she added.

Alexander insists: “No one is allowed on floats and trucks except the performer and the New York City Police Department monitors this closely.”

“Additionally,” she said, “trucks and floats have to place long wooden guards on all wheels to ensure if someone falls they won’t get under the wheels.”

This year’s carnival, under new management for the second consecutive year, is being presented under the theme: “Celebrating Caribbean Pride and Culture” and some three million are expected to participate in the five-day event which kicks off on Thursday Aug 29th at 8 p.m. with the new Caribbean Woodstock and Costume Competition at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn NY.

The Woodstock is set to feature acts like Adrian Dutchin from Guyana, Mikey from Barbados, Trivia from Jamaica, Lover Man from Grenada and Latin Singer Jennie Sol while the Costume Competition will showcase ole mas, characters and individual costumes.

This will be followed by the Stay In School Youth Talent Show on Friday Aug 30th in the day time and Brass Fest with Machel Montano, Patrice Roberts and Farmer Nappy among others from 8 p.m. that night.

The Kiddies Carnival will follow in the day on Sat. Aug 31st while a clash of the bands at Steelband Panorama will take place that night, including the NYU steel pan band that will open the panorama.

Dimanche Gras or fat Sunday – which is a huge competition where the Kings and Queens of the Carnival Bands are paraded before judges, as well as the performances by top calypsonians is set for September 1st at 7 p.m.

On Labor Day, 2nd September 2nd from 11 a.m., tens of thousands of costumed masqueraders, dancing spectators and politicians, will celebrate with an all day presentation of the sights, sounds and taste of the Caribbean.

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