Though the massive, annual West Indian American Day Carnival Parade on Labor Day, on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway, is cancelled for the second successive year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the grand, five-day extravaganza still goes on, according to the Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), organizer of the spectacular annual showcase.
“No carnival events? Says who?” asked WIADCA rhetorically on Wednesday in a statement, stating that the carnival, held under the theme, “Rebirth: Future Now,” was scheduled to begin on Thursday, Sept. 3 with the sold-out “Vibes w/Voicey Concert Tour.”
WIADCA said several cultural partners have been working with the association “to bring the pageantry of carnival differently to the masses.”
They include: Pride of the Caribbean, Sesame Flyers International, B Paradise Mas’, Poshy Productions/Kaisokah Mas and Kaisokah Moko Jumbies.
“While our beloved New York Carnival Parade is postponed until 2022, we have several events scheduled that feature musical ambassadors from around the Caribbean (Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica) and more,” WIADCA said.
“Join us in the ‘Big Yard’ (Brooklyn Museum) – safe, lots of vibes and easy to get to,” it urged. “Get your tickets today on Eventbrite or www.carnival.nyc! For program updates, follow us on FB (Facebook) and IG (Instagram).”
WIADCA Chair Michelle Gibbs said: ‘We are planning for our future now by leading with our youth as our focal point, and our community members and partners as our foundation.
“As North America’s oldest Caribbean cultural institution – contributor to the city’s economic stability and growth — we produce several year-round community programs for youth, adults and seniors,” she added.
Gibbs said the annual signature events, featuring several cultural and musical ambassadors, are set to take place live during New York’s Caribbean Carnival Week at the Brooklyn Museum.
Regarding COVID protocols for planned events, she said several guidelines are in place “to activate testing, vaccine education, and verification and temperature checks.
“I would like to thank all our elected official from the city and state for your continued support,” Gibbs said. “We could not have done this without you.”
On Friday, WIADCA features “Welcome Back! New York Carnival 2021” | 7:00 pm – 2:00 am.: a Caribbean music fest featuring artists and music from the Diaspora, including Iwer George (2020 Power Soca Monarch Trinidad); Blaxx (Trinidad); Linky First – Mr. “Rock and Come In” (Jamaica); and Adrian Dutchin & Dem Guyanese Boyz.
During this event, WIADCA said DJ Stakz will pay tribute to the late Jacob Desvarieux, guitarist and lead singer of Kassav, and Herman Nau, co-founder and drummer of Tabou Combo.
Music will be supplied by DJ Pink Assassin, DJ Stakz, DJ Norie (Power 105) and One Gyal Army. Admission: Eventbrite https://bit.ly/3yHopzp
Saturday features the Virtual International Youth Fest 2021 | 11:00 am.
WIADCA said it is an end of summer Caribbean talent showcase, “where all performances are welcome.”
Among the featured acts are: Trinidad All Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, Kezia Sealy, Besties, KiMarli Jeffrey, Kamarly Simpson (Da Big Show), Kai-Anthony Salazar, A’Janae King-Fraser, Dabria Baptiste, Kurlise Bentham, Mitchila Williams, Shola Roberts Dance Troop, Impression Dance Theater and Batingua Arts. Virtual admission will be via www.wiadcacarnival.org, with “donations appreciated.”
Saturday also highlights “Pan Jamboree” | 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., “complete with live performances from New York’s premiere bands,” such as D’Radoes, Steel Sensation, Hearts of Steel, Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra, Metro Steel Orchestra, Khuentertainment and Harmony Music Makers.
“This event offers patrons an immersive 360-degree viewing experience,” WIADCA assured. “Don’t miss your chance to select a winner with a coveted People’s Choice Award.” Admission: Eventbrite https://bit.ly/3yHUIya
On Monday, Labor Day, WIADCA said “the ultimate New York Carnival day experience, ‘Jus like Mas’, takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm.
“Get your costumes or Monday wear ready and join us at Brooklyn Museum in Di Big Yard,” it urged, stating that the package includes drinks, music trucks and live performances. Admission: www.carnival.nyc or wiadcacarnival.org.