NYC West Indian Day Celebrations Start This Week: What You Should Know

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NEW YORK, NY – The West Indian American Day Parade in New York City has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic. however, the celebrations continue on a much smaller scale.

“The New York Carnival celebrations will continue in NYC with three days of virtual celebrations and smaller in-person events from September 2-5,” said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday. “Things are going to be a little different this year, but we can still find ways to celebrate safely until we can all be together again.”

The popular parade has been going on for decades and is New York’s version of the carnival celebrations that take place across the Caribbean. Before the parade, a separate street festival called J’Ouvert was traditionally the focus.

J’Ouvert, which is French Creole for “dawn” or “daybreak,” usually begins at this time on Labor Day and marks the start of a lengthy Carnival celebration. The J’Ouvert Parade, which usually fills Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway with bright colors and energetic dances to celebrate Caribbean heritage, has also been canceled for the second year in a row.

“The J’Ouvert Parade has to be postponed until next year as we continue to fight the Delta variant in New York,” tweeted de Blasio. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but we know we will celebrate again in 2022 after ending the # COVID19 era once and for all.”

Instead, tours of the neighborhood are offered during the “cultural season”, according to Yvette Rennie, President of J’Ouvert City International.

With the cancellations, Laurie Cumbo, the majority leader of the New York City Council, advises the public not to hold their own Carnival or J’Ouvert celebrations.

“We strongly encourage people not to try to have their own mini-carnivals or their own mini-events, or try to reproduce Carnival or J’Ouvert in their own way,” said Cumbo. “It’s important that you realize that the best way to celebrate this year is by celebrating with family and friends – small gatherings.”

Here’s a look at the schedule for the West Indian Day celebrations:

Thursday, September 2nd:
Vibes with Voicey

Celebrations begin on Labor Day Thursday when VIBES WITH VOICEY kicks off at 4:00 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn Museum | 4:00 p.m.
Click here to buy your tickets

Friday, September 3rd:
Welcome back!
A cultural / musical experience that involves musicians and artists from across the diaspora. During this event we bring different genres of music to Brooklyn. Artists and DJs are announced on an ongoing basis and tickets are on sale in advance. Brooklyn Museum | 7:00 pm Click here to buy your tickets

Saturday, September 4th:
Virtual International Youth Festival
Livestream appearances: www.carnival.nyc, YouTube and Facebook. In order to ensure the safety of our youth, this year we will host our youth festival virtually. An end of summer showcase for Caribbean talent promoting the performing arts and cultural diversity where all performances are welcome. Live On carnival.nyc | YouTube | Facebook | 11:00 O’CLOCK

Steel pan jamboree
This culturally enriching showcase is complete with live performances from steel bands, pan soloists, doubles, quartets, and more. The audience will witness an impressive steel band experience with performances on the lawn of the Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn Museum | 7:00 pm Click here to buy your tickets

Sunday, September 5th:
amnesia
GAMEFACE welcomes VALEVIBE & BLACK STAR ENT. We present to you AMNESIA The Reunion THE BREAKFAST PARTY! AMNESIA is now taking place at the historic BROOKLYN MUSEUM Labor Day on Sunday 5th September. BREAKFAST FROM 8 a.m. to 12 noon! Nice people, hottest DJs, best drinks, good food, lots of vibes. Get your tickets and get ready for the fun. Presented by GAMEFACE The Love Promotion Enjoy Live Young.Brooklyn Museum | 8:00 am Click here to buy your tickets

Monday, September 6th:
Labor Day Monday Carnival “Jus’ Like Mas” Powered by NY Carnival
“MAS” is the short form of the word “MASQUERADE”. This year we’re doing it “Jus’ Like Mas” with the ultimate Labor Day Monday experience. Get your costumes because the bands are coming! The road experience comes to the Brooklyn Museum with premium drinks and lots of beautiful Mas clothing. Attendees and guests are invited to get their Monday clothes ready. The ticket includes drinks, music trucks, international DJS and live performances by the greatest Caribbean artists in Brooklyn Museum | 11:00 am Click here to buy your tickets

Find out about all events here.

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