The annual West Indian American Day Parade is one of New York City’s most vibrant and popular events. And yesterday’s festivities didn’t disappoint. More than 2 million people — of all ages, cultures, and affiliations — celebrated along Easter Parkway from Schenectady Avenue to Grand Army Plaza, many decked out in fantastic body paint and colorful plumage.
Tragically, several early morning celebrations near Prospect Park were interrupted by violence — First Deputy Counsel to the Empire State Development Corp, Carey Gabay, was shot in the head by a stray bullet. Another man was stabbed to death a just few blocks away. In a third incident, a 21-year-old man was also shot and hospitalized.
The parade began at 11am and continued into the afternoon. It was a day of young and old, of every West Indian nation dancing together and enjoying each other’s company and culture — from food to music and costume. The West Indian Day Parade is a true representation of what it means to live in Brooklyn.
The parade tradition started in 1947 as the Trinidad Carnival Pageant in Harlem, but moved to Brooklyn in 1969 — a few years after New York City revoked the parade permit in Manhattan. Crown Heights has been a nexus of Caribbean culture in the city since the 1930s, and once the parade moved to Eastern Parkway, it expanded into an international event, incorporating food and traditions from other Caribbean islands.
History of the West Indian Day Parade and 1028 St. Johns Place [Brownstoner]
West Indian Day Parade Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photos by Maude Delice for Brownstoner
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) September 7, 2015
— Paula Lanier (@paula65writer) September 7, 2015
— Brownstoner (@Brownstoner) September 7, 2015