West Indian American Carnival Turns 47

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Westindiancarnival2013News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Thurs. Aug. 21, 2014: The count-down has begun to North America’s largest carnival, the West Indian American Day Carnival, which celebrates its 47th birthday next weekend. It will be a five day celebration of Caribbean culture including a stellar line-up of Caribbean artists, outdoor dance concerts, cuisine, colorful Carnival costumes and competitions – culminating in WIADCA’s annual New York Caribbean Carnival Parade , dubbed, “Brooklyn’s Greatest Show!”

Founded by Trinidad-immigrant Carlos Lezama in 1967, the West Indian-American Day Carnival Association, (WIADCA), will again take over the neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, from Eastern Parkway and Schenectady Avenue to 200 Eastern Parkway & Washington Avenue.

The West Indian American Day Carnival will kick-off on the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum at 200 Eastern Pkwy Brooklyn, on Thursday, August 28th, with ‘Caribbean Woodstock: A Celebration of Light.’ It will end of Labor Day Monday, September 1st with a kick-off breakfast at Lincoln Terrace Park at Eastern Parkway and Schenectady Avenue and the annual parade of costume bands, masqueraders, moko jumbies and floats as well as vendors selling delicious Caribbean cuisine and art from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

jouvert 2011 This year’s carnival grand marshals are Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

Organizers say the multi-event celebration of West Indian culture costs $1,000,000 to present but the economic impact is staggering. A 2003 study by The Lugano Group found that the total economic impact of the Carnival was $154,800,000, though organizers claim the figure is closer to $200 million.

Still annually, WIADCA says 47 years later, it continues to be a hassle to raise the sponsorship dollars and funds needed to keep the mega-event on the Eastern Parkway stage in Brooklyn New York, the heart of the Caribbean Diaspora in the United States. This year, support has come from Con Edison, Delta Airlines, Emblem Health, MoneyGram, Brooklyn Museum, NYSCA, WBLS 107.5FM, Healthfirst, Transport Workers Union, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Caribbean Life, UFT, Irie Jam Media, Daily News, MCU, Bacardi USA, Guinness, Heineken USA, DYCD, McDonald’s, Bartenura, Hot 97FM and AllCar Rent A Car/Carpingo Carshare.

Laborday 2011 “We are delighted to have the support of all our returning and new partners for the 47th Annual New York Caribbean Carnival festivities. These relationships help to strengthen our presence and commitment to the community. WIADCA’s contributions over the years have proven to be a dependable and successful annual economic stimulus, generating over $100 million in revenue and profitable opportunities to local businesses throughout Brooklyn, the City and State of New York”, says Jean P. Alexander, WIADCA’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations.

The full schedule of activities of the West Indian American Day Carnival follows:

Caribbean Woodstock: A Celebration of Light
Doors Open: 6 p.m.; Showtime: 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Performance by popular artists from the Caribbean including featuring some of the best Caribbean talent to include Skinny Banton (Grenada) singing his hit single Saltfish, Adrian Dutchin (Guyana), Problem Child (St. Vincent) singing his Vincy Ragga Soca tune Obsession, Ricardo Drue (Antigua) the Jumpy Soca Monarch, Surette Bon Bon (Haiti), Mickey (Barbados), Statement (Barbados) singing I Come Out to Party fresh from Crop Over 2014, Zouk & the Gang (Guadeloupe), Mr. Famous (Trinidad) known for the popular hit Play More Local, and Jamaica’s own Reggae superstar Tarrus Riley singing tunes She’s Royal and more from his latest album entitled Love Situation along with traditional Ole’ Mas and individual costume competitions.

carnivalmaidsallinarow Stay In School—Youth Fest/College Fair
Friday, August 29th – 11 a.m.
The Stay in School Youth Fest, a free program, presents an opportunity for young people to showcase their artistic talents on stage to approximately 3,000 attendees. It also highlights the values of our immigrant community which encourages our youth to pursue their education.

Brass Fest 2014
Friday, August 29th – Doors Open: 6 p.m.; Showtime: 8 p.m. – 3 a.m.
Brass Fest will feature the finest Caribbean musicians/acts all in one outdoor party that will include for the first time from Ghana, Blakk Rasta (Barak Obama) and from the Caribbean, Teddyson John and the TJ Project, Red Fyah Band, Skinny Fabulous (Behavin’ de Worse), Lyrikal (Conquer Meh), Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy (Big People Party), Rayzor (Sponsor Meh), Da Big Show, Mr. Killa (Rolly Polly) and headliner Machel Montano HD (EPIC, Ministry of Road).

carnivalmanKiddies Carnival Parade
Saturday, August 30th – begins at Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place and continues to Franklin Avenue and President street ending at Brooklyn Museum from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The annual Kiddies Carnival parade will wind through the heart of Crown Heights and ending at the Brooklyn Museum grounds and put the spotlight on the next generation of Caribbean Americans.

Panorama 2014
Saturday, August 30th – Doors Open: 6 pm; Showtime: 8 p.m. – 3 a.m.
The rhythms of sweet steelband music will take over the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum as the finest steel orchestras in NY gather to present a competitive steelband show down to win the 2014 Panorama Championship crown.

Dimanche Gras: The Legends Are Coming!
Sunday, August 31st – Doors Open: 6 p.m.; Showtime: 7 p.m. – 1a.m.
WIADCA will present the final concert, Dimanche Gras that will feature the King and Queen of the Bands competition, winners from previous nights, and featured performances from Caribbean living legends, The Mighty Sparrow, King David Rudder and Lord Nelson along with Lima Calbio, Leon Coldero, Lennox Picou, Jeromy Rodriguez, T&T’s Junior Soca Monarch 2014, Something Positive Dance Troupe and the Sunshine Band

thesnakesofcarnival2013New York Caribbean Carnival: Labor Day Parade 2014
Mon 1st September, 2014 – Eastern Parkway and Schenectady Avenue to Flatbush Ext.
The crown jewel of NY Caribbean Carnival week will culminate with a fascinating display of carnival costume bands, masqueraders, moko jumbies, floats, delicious Caribbean cuisine and much more.

For more information on the 2014 West Indian American Day carnival or its organizers, to volunteer, purchase event tickets, or register as a vendor log on here  to https://wiadcacarnival.org/ or call 718-467-1797.