When we think of the Brooklyn Carnival, we tend to just think of the West Indian Day Parade. However, the Brooklyn Carnival is not a one-day affair. It actually spans five days starting from the Thursday before Labor Day and ending right on Labor Day with the West Indian Day Parade.
To give you an idea of what happens during the five days of events, below is last year’s Brooklyn Carnival schedule:
Caribbean Woodstock: A Celebration of Light*
A celebration of traditional Caribbean folklore. Artists that were scheduled to perform included Tarrus Riley (from Jamaica), Skinny Banton (from Grenada), Adrian Dutchin (from Guyana), Problem Child (from St. Vincent and the Grenadines), and Ricardo Drue (from Antigua). In addition, the traditional Ole Mas costume competition and individual costume contest were also held.
Stay In School – Youth Fest & College Fair
The “Stay in School Youth Fest” is meant to highlight the Caribbean community’s values and encourage the pursuit of education. The free event also includes the distribution of college information.
Brass Fest 2014*
A concert with a huge lineup of performers. Last year’s concert included Blakk Rasta from Ghana; Trinidad and Tobago-born, Brooklyn-raised singer Lyrikal; Teddyson John and the TJ Project from St. Lucia; Brooklyn’s versatile Red Fyah Band; soca stars Patrice Roberts and Farmer Nappy from Trinidad and Tobago; and Skinny Fabulous of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Kids Carnival
The Junior Carnival Parade, or “Kids Carnival,” is a version of the actual Carnival celebration directed toward young people from ages 2 to 16. Like the regular Carnival, the Kids Carnival will also include masquerade bands and costumes. In our interview with WIADCA Secretary Jean Alexander, it was stated that the purpose of the Kids Carnival is to keep the tradition of the Carnival alive through the next generation.
The much-anticipated steel band/steel pan competition.
Dimanche Gras: The Legends Are Coming!*
WIADCA’s “Dimache Gras” concert and presentation is the final concert before the West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day. This is when the King and Queen of the bands costume competition takes place, where the Carnival King and Queen are crowned. In addition, many calypso artists were scheduled to perform, including The Mighty Sparrow, Lord Nelson, and King David Rudder.
West Indian American Day Carnival Parade
The climactic end to the Brooklyn Carnival. The parade goes along Eastern Parkway, features a procession of mas bands and colorful floats, and is the representative event of the Brooklyn Carnival.
*Indicates events that require paid tickets to enter. Tickets range from $30 for the “Caribbean Woodstock” concert to $55 for the Brass Fest.