The reception area of Brooklyn Borough Hall was thrown into a carnival arena on Tuesday, Aug. 20 when the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) kicked off its 46th Carnival Celebration with a carnival mas that gave patrons a sneak-peek of what to expect on Labor Day on Sept. 2.
Revellers in spectacular costumes pranced to the beat of infectious carnival music, setting the tone for what is expected to be an exciting celebration on Eastern Parkway. A steelpan solo, took center stage to entertain the Caribbean nationals who were crammed into the space to welcome another carnival weekend in Brooklyn.
With talk of this year being one of the best ever to hit the parkway, host Marty Markowitz, Borough Presidednt, bellowed his appreciation to the Caribbean people for keeping their culture alive in the Borough of Brooklyn. He stated that the future of New York depended on the Caribbean people who make up a large part of the borough.
Markowitz thanked the now deceased Carlos Lazama for his vision and spirit that created the Carnival, and recalled how the former organizer was always in a trance when he danced along the Parkway to celebrate carnival.
“Carlos was the happiest person I ever met, and who Martowitz said left a lasting legacy that was continued by his daughter Yolanda, and “all of you who make this carnival successful.” He applauded president Thomas Bailey, Jean Alexander and the organizers for their tremendous work.
Markowitz, the outgoing Borough president, who has been in office for 35 years, sounded as if he was making his “goodby’ speech when he recalled how the Caribbean people voted for him 11 times, despite whomever he was running against. In turn, he said he passed every bill that was put forward by the nationals to better their community.
He went on to say that State Senator Eric Adams, who is the only candidate running for his position, will make a good borough president.
“Believe in yourself Brooklyn,” shouted Markowitz, as he concluded his speech.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke said “Our culture has crossed the seas to become a pillar of strength in this great city.” She praised the carnival committee and encouraged its members to continue to “plan this beautiful family reunion, a living legacy that will continue beyoun our time.”
Several politicians including Eric Adams, Deputy Borough President Sandra Chapman, Assemblyman Nick Perry, John Burnett, community leaders, Patricia Jordon-Langford, president of the Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Miss Guyana World, Ruyaqqah Boyer, and many others attended the event.