Everybody loves a good carnival, especially the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), coming up on its 47th Annual New York Caribbean Carnival – an end-of-summer staple for Brooklyn.
According to WIADCA’s Anne-Rhea Smith, the five day cultural celebration has a vibe all its own.
“In the 47th year, we’re celebrating our Caribbean pride and culture as well as continuing our mission to have it as inclusive as possible,” explained Smith, media, community engagement and cultural diversity representative for WIADCA. “Our celebration caters to those of all cultures, not just Caribbean people because we realize that many people identify and also have roots that are Caribbean-American in nature.”
This year’s extravaganza – featuring an array of Caribbean artists, outdoor dance concerts, cuisine, colorful costumes and competitions – begins Thursday, August 28 and ends Monday, September 1 with “Brooklyn’s greatest show” on Eastern Parkway, the West Indian American Day Parade – which draws a million people in an average year — from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We’re looking to be able to promote our heritage but also to continue our legacy and pass it on to the next generation,” said Smith, happy to announce this year’s lineup.
The Carnival will kick off on Thursday with the inaugural Caribbean Woodstock: A Celebration of Light featuring Caribbean talents like Skinny Banton, Adrian Dutchin, Problem Child and more. Woodstock will rock the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway) from 7 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Additional events include a Youth Fest/College Fair at 11 a.m. followed by Brass Fast 2014 from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., both on Friday, August 29 at the Brooklyn Museum.
On Saturday, August 30, Carnival-goers can enjoy the Junior Carnival Parade from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning at Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place, continuing to Franklin Avenue and President Street and ending at Brooklyn Museum. The parade will be preceded by Panorama 2014, featuring the rhythms of steelband music from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. at the museum.
The final concert, Dimanche Gras: The Legends Are Coming! will take place from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Brooklyn Museum on Sunday, August 31, and feature performances from Caribbean living legends.
“People can come out and see where their grandparents came from, where their parents came from,” said Smith, adding that while the Carnival keeps people in the present, it also serves up a taste of the past and a feeling of home. “They can be proud of participating in and being a part of something so big, while being able show off their culture to the world.”
Most of all, she said, it’s about having fun.
“We’re able to have fun in our own pageantry and revelry of music, cuisine, costume, celebration and everything else that we do in the Caribbean,” she said.
For more information on the annual event and a full schedule, visit www.wiadcacarnival.org.