by Dana Mathura.
Yes! It is that time of year again where parade-goers are making final touches to their costumes
and Soca music is blasting (more than usual) as Caribbean people and plenty more are setting up
for this year’s fete.
This past Aug. 16, 2018 was the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s annual media
In between the vibrant tassa playing—courtesy of Boodoosingh Tassa Group—and crowd of
costume-goers parading around the Brooklyn Children’s Museum rooftop, I was able to
speak with the new interim president, Dr. Ionie Pierce, after the late great Mr. Howard’s passing.
She smiles and embraces me in a hug that could only be the product of a warm Caribbean
“I can’t explain it, it’s more than words can explain. You have to see it in person,” said Dr.
Pierce on her advice to a first time carnival goer and the festivities they will experience.
This is completely in line with the truth because as Jean P. Alexander, Board Secretary of
WIADCA, puts it carnival consists of “colorful and creative costumes, infectious and
scintillating music and other traditional features of Caribbean culture.”
Certainly any carnival goer is going to be experiencing a lot of culture, colors, and camaraderie
all styled into one event.
The festivities begin way in advance as several events—many featuring popular island
artistes—start on Aug. 30 and culminate in the 51st New York Caribbean Carnival Parade.
Catch big names like Nailah Blackman, Linky First and Charly Black when the Soca Unda Di
Stars! event begins 7 p.m. on Aug. 30. Tickets are $35 in advance or $80 for VIP tickets.
Spend the next day enjoying free admission to the Summer Jam: Youth Fest hosted by Young
Devyn. Afterwards is the Brass Fest featuring Destra Garcia, Patrice Roberts, Freezy and
countless others. Tickets cost $50 or $125 if you are going for VIP.
On Sep. 1, make it a family day by taking the kids to Junior Carnival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for
just $5 then unwind with the musical stylings of several steelbands. Tickets to the Steelband
Panorama are $45 and the event lasts from 7p.m. to 3a.m.
Sep. 2 hosts the Dimanche Gras Grand Finale! Music, costume presentations and the winners of
the Panorama 2018 are all intertwined into this one event you do not want to miss. Tickets are
priced at $35.
This year’s West Indian American Day parade, also known as the Labor Day parade, is on Sep.
3. As usual, the route begins at Schenectady Ave. and travels along Eastern Parkway until feters
end the party line at Brooklyn Museum.
Head on over to wiadcacarnival.org/carnival to get details on all their events leading up to the
parade as well as the parade itself.
See you on the road!