The West Indian Day Parade will shimmy into its 45th year on Eastern Parkway this Labor Day, bringing with it the usual abundance of feathers and glitter and a healthy dose of gut-thumping bass.
Yet, despite the parade’s long tradition and the more than 1 million spectators, many newcomers to the quickly shifting neighborhoods along Eastern Parkway have never have experienced the borough’s biggest celebration.
West Indian pride truly shines through as everyone meets up block by block for food, music and fun. It’s a huge family reunion.
While the celebration might seem short to some, the days of festivities leading up to Labor Day may come as a surprise to the uninitiated. Beginning on Thursday evening with a costume competition behind the Brooklyn Museum, the party features concerts all day Friday, a children’s parade and a steel drum competition on Saturday, a kids’ costume competition on Sunday and, of course, the traditional pre-dawn dance party J’ouvertalong Empire Boulevard and Nostrand Avenue on Monday morning.
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With thousands of participants and about a million attendees expected it’s easy to get stuck, lost, or just overwhelmed by the scale of the celebration. Even the costumes are big — the headdresses are 12 feet tall and the performers wear stilts. The one thing you won’t want to do, though, is try to drive in or around the parade route on Labor Day. The city routinely tows hundreds of cars from the blocks around Eastern Parkway, and traffic is totally shut down from Buffalo Avenue to Washington Avenue north of Empire Boulevard.
Here is the Pans line Up for you to enjoy!
1. Pan Sonatas
4. Sesame flyers
6. Eastside Symphony
8. Pan Fantasy
Many local television markets will be broadcasting the parade. You can watch the live stream of the parade on Monday by clicking the live stream button on: http://www.wiadca.com/