Hundreds of thousands of revelers flocked to Crown Heights on Sept 1. to shake a tail-feather and scarf a jerk-chicken leg or five as part of the annual West Indian American Day Parade.
Borough President Adams presided as grand marshal and Mayor DeBlasio and his family marched down Eastern Parkway among dancers, dragons, and the many flags of the Caribbean. The first family took a moment mid-march to reprise their “Smackdown” group dance routine, the palm-licking, ground-slapping number first unveiled at last year’s parade in the run-up to the 2013 election. Gov. Cuomo was also spotted hoofing it with the procession and pressing the flesh along the barricades just eight days ahead of this year’s Sept. 9 primary.
The West Indian Day Parade tradition began in Manhattan in the 1920s and moved to Crown Heights in the late 1960s, where it has remained ever since. It regularly draws upwards of a million participants and spectators, and features the costumes, street food, and booming music of numerous Caribbean islands and countries on the Caribbean coast of South America.