The West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), organizer of Brooklyn’s Caribbean Carnival in New York, has selected United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett among four Grand Marshals for the historic, massive West Indian Day Carnival Parade on Labor Day, Monday, on Brooklyn’s sprawling Eastern Parkway.
WIADCA said in a statement that the four Grand Marshals were expected to make history by “walking Brooklyn’s Cultural Row in solidarity to commemorate WIADCA’s 55th Anniversary.”
Besides Plaskett, the other Grand Marshals were: Puerto Rican Victoria Cruz, LGBTQ Rights activist; Ingrid Lewis-Martin, chief advisor to Mayor Eric Adams, of Barbados and Panama roots; and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, whose parents hail from the Dominican Republic.
Congresswoman Plaskett, who represents the USVI at-large Congressional District in the US House of Representatives, is currently serving her fourth successive, two-year term in Congress.
A member of the House Ways and Means, Budget and Agriculture Committees, Plaskett noted that the Caribbean American Labor Day Carnival is the largest cultural event in the United States and Canada, commanding an attendance of about two million people, with one million tourists coming from all over the USA, Canada, and around the world each year.
She said this year’s celebration was the first one of its kind since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that it would be “particularly special since New York was the epicenter of the COVID outbreak.
“We expect a record turnout of individuals ready to celebrate the beauty and significance of Caribbean culture,” Plaskett said. “As a proud Crucian (native of St. Croix), Caribbean American and Brooklynite, I am extremely proud to have been chosen as one of the Grand Marshals of this year’s parade,” Plaskett said.
“New York has long been a rich epicenter of Caribbean families and our collective culture with multiple layers of Caribbean heritage that contribute to the arts, music, history, and cultural identity of this part of the United States,” she added. “I would like to thank the WIADCA Board of Directors, Members and Advisory Committee for this opportunity.”
WIADCA said that the in-person pageantry returned on Thursday with five successive days of spectacular carnival, culminating with the massive Carnival Parade on Monday.
Except for the Labor Day Carnival Parade, all events took place on the Brooklyn Museum grounds.
“Carnival Monday, we hit ‘di’ road, as carnival bandleaders present an array of costumed masterpieces,” WIADCA said.
Participating bands comprise: D’ Original Limers, B Paradise Mas’, Sesame Carnival, Sky Maxx Mas’, Antoine International, Caribbeing Inc., Banboche Mas’, Mango Tree Production, New Horizon, Cocoa Diamond Productions, Elements of Runway, Creole Jam, Afro Kreyol, Branches Mas’, Greenz United, Suga Candy Mas’, Freaks Mas’ and D’Midas International NY.
Several cultural groups will also participate, including Braata Productions (Jonkanoo); Garifuna Spiritual Enrichment Society; and Day of Independence Committee of Panamanians in NY, Inc.