Date: Monday 3rd September 2007
Location: Eastern Parkway. Brooklyn, NY
Promotions: West Indian American Day Carnival Association
Click on thumbnails to see the big picture/entire gallery
It's been several years now since TJJ has ventured to the Eastern Parkway for NY's W.I. Labor Day Parade, mainly by choice. Yes, there's reportedly over 2 million participants on the Parkway each year.... yes, there's thousands of masqueraders, hundreds of floats, plenty steelbands and soca music blasting from all the music trucks... still, there's something about this particular parade that just doesn't do it for us. We never seem to get even an inkling of that TnT Carnival feeling that other Carnivals outside of Trinidad provide. It is just us?
Now this year marked the 40th Anniversary of the West Indian American Day Carnival in Brooklyn, so we decided to resurface to the Parkway and join the celebration. Let's see if we have in fact been missing out these recent years. The TJJ Blue Team arrived on the parade around 1pm, located Rango's International mas band and joined the action. Rango's presentation for 2007 was "Shades of Blue", and this was exactly what the costumes of their masqueraders reflected.... BLUE, BLUE and more BLUE!!! The band even had some blue j'ouvert revellers (photo), who did a good job of scaring the bejesus out of those non-masqueraders that infiltrated the band. Man, people were running for their lives as the blue devils tossed blue paint from their buckets (photo). You would have sworn someone pulled out ah gun or something..... fuss people were stampeding over one another!! Speaking of which, as the TJJ Red Team was making their way to the Parkway, the Blue Team sent out a quick warning that there were gun shots occurring.... YIKES!!! So when we reached Rango Int'l, it was to see the TJJ Blue Team high up on the music truck scared for their lives. So our coverage plans get cut short.... we took a few more snaps of Rango and neighbouring bands before having NY's finest escort us past the crowd barriers. This media house was finished working.
As usual, the service roads were flooded with vendors lined up selling foods, crafts, books, clothing, art, jewelry, and much more. So it was a quick pit stop for some roast corn (we find ah vendor selling for ah $1... like striking oil, yes!), jerk chicken, rice and beans and salad. Of course we had to buy one of those jugs of fresh lemonade to wash it all down! Nice, bellies full !! ;-) With the TJJ Blue Team still too nervous to get off the truck, we made plans to link back up at NY Caribbean Vibes's "Afterglow" fete.
So, we ent see get ah chance to see the new All Inclusive Red Warriors mas band, large bands like Sesame Flyers Int'l or Borokette USA., or even the massive VP Records truck with all the big reggae and soca artists this year. Maybe we came out too late, maybe it was all jus bad timing, but what lies ahead for TJJ and the 2008 Labor Day is most uncertain at this time. Only time will tell.