Thousands of joyous revelers flocked to Eastern Parkway on Monday for the annual West Indian Day Parade, despite the extreme humidity and stormy skies.
There was no shortage of booming steel drum beats, bright floats, vibrant-colored and eye-popping costumes, and bikini-and-feather-clad dancers at the boisterous parade along one of the borough’s major arteries in the heart of Crown Heights.
Scantily outfitted dancers donning elaborate feathered headdresses gyrated their way down Eastern Parkway for the 46th annual parade that celebrates Caribbean music, arts, food, and culture every Labor Day.
“It was loud and fun and full of pretty costumes,” said William Howard, first vice president of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, which has been the driving force behind the parade since the organization was established in 1967.
“Everyone enjoyed themselves,” he said. “It was a great celebration of the Caribbean culture.”
Throngs of spectators waving flags of Caribbean countries packed the sidewalks along the two-mile-long parade route, which kicked off on Eastern Parkway at Schenectady Avenue, headed west toward Grand Army Plaza, and then turned onto Flatbush Avenue.
More than one million revelers were estimated to be at the massive parade, and with the Sept. 10 primary election looming, mayoral candidates were guests in the parade, waving and shaking spectators’ hands.
“They were letting everybody know that they understand and know the Caribbean culture,” said Howard.
Borough President Markowitz and Trinidadian DJ MC Wassy served as the grand marshals for this year’s parade.