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Surprisingly, we got a beautiful day in Brooklyn, wit nuff hot sun to take a jump, a wave, and a whine, giving us the essence of Carnival in we country! Rockaway Avenue was filled by 11am with bands of masqueraders, spectators, police officers, and selectors runnin’ the sweet sweet sounds of the islands, getting ready to hit the Parkway for another year to celebrate our culture at the West Indian Labor Day Parade.

Everyone came out with high energy for the last lap of the Labor Day weekend, representing with flags from all over the Caribbean. Some took their island pride to the next level, painting their bodies in the red, black and white of the T&T flag, spicing it up with skirts made out of the Grenada flag, and vehicles decked out in Jamaican,Haitian, Vincy, Bajan and Lucian flags, just to give you a little taste.

Getting up to Eastern Parkway was no joke. The police had the streets barricaded from each and every direction. Thanks to the TJJ magic pass, we were able to get through for an exclusive. We made it up the parkway in time to catch the beginning of the parade. Masqueraders in vibrant colors, sequences, and glitters, ready to play a mass! The NY’s men, and women in blue wouldn’t allow us to linger alongside the bands for too long, so we ended up walking almost the entire parade stretch (Our legs could not make it all the way to Grand Army Plaza), especially after takin’ a jump (before we got kicked out of course) with Trini band,Sesame Flyers. Their band came ready to get on wassy! But I’m not sure who got on more, the Trini bands, or the Haitian posse. The Haitian crew flooded the streets (literally). They knocked us off the street completely. We could only watch from the sideline at that point.

We also ran into a load of people peppered in ready to go again, after playin’ a wicked Jab earlier that morning for J’ouvert. Black Jabs. Red Devils. Blue Devils. Silver Devils? and the Powder Crew. Pure Jamishness!

Parade on-lookers come out in the masses from year to year. Although there were no performances this year, everyone still got sightings of their favorite soca and reggae artist, like Luni Sparks & Electrify, Inspector, and Randy Issac, all hailing from Greenz,and Shaggy, Spragga Benz, and Tifa, representing for JA. The parade is not only exclusive to the Caribbean community. People come from all over the world to part take and get a view of the well known Caribbean festivities on the Brooklyn streets. We can’t blame them for wanting a taste of our flavor.

Speaking of flavor, the food on the parkway made our tummy’s very happy! So much to choose from. Whether you wanted spicy jerk chicken, some doubles, roti, some basic chicken and fries, a cold sorrel, mauby or just a bottle of water to cool you down, there were vendors throughout the entire Parkway. Not only did they hold you down with the food, but if you left your flag at home, or you lost it while whinnin’ up, there were plenty of flags for sale.

This year the Labor Day Parade burn us out! But, it was well worth it. This year, we lime, no lemons. This year there were no unfortunate incidents to mash up the day. Shout out to the NYC police for keeping it safe and the attendees for having some behavior. Hopefully, Labor Day 2010 we get to stay out late. What happened to bands running the streets ‘till 6pm. Can’t lock us off by 4. You ain’t know island people does go from sun up till sun down.

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>> View New York Labour Day 2009 Gallery