The 45th Annual West Indian-American Day Carnival Parade fell on a cloudy day, but spirits were anything but damp.
One of the largest outdoor events in New York City, the parade usually draws about 3 million people, according to the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.
This year's carnival had the theme of "getting back to tradition" and included a performance by the "Grand Dame of Calypso," Calypso Rose and an evening devoted to "mas," traditional parade costumes. Harry Belefonte was the parade's grand marshal.
The Labor Day event capped a five-day celebration of the culture of the Caribbean. Events included dance performances, a "stay in school" concert, a kiddie parade, a "brass fest soca madness" concert, a steelpan competition, a "Dimanche Gras" variety show and J'ouvert, a pre-dawn parade where revelers wear costumes to mock "political issues, celebrities, and prominent events," according to WIACA.
On Monday, the dozens of floats and hundreds of dancers began at the corner of Rochester and Eastern Parkway at 11 a.m. and ended at Grand Army Plaza at about 6 p.m.
Dancers in ornate costumes put on a final push to the beat of Calypso and Steelpan as they reached the procession's end at Grand Army Plaza, while spectators old and young cheered them on.
Paradegoers showed their own spirit with flags—some fashioned into clothing, some worn as capes or headbands, and others waved vigorously by children as they watched the dancers go by.
On the service road, vendors sold Caribbean specialities, crafts and clothing.
Politicians including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Gov. Andrew Cuomo also marched in the procession.
In the aftermath of the event, several acts of violence happened along the route: in the neck and killed in two separate incidents, one on Eastern Parkway and Bedford Avenue and the other on St. Johns Place near Utica Avenue; and a man and a woman were both shot in the upper leg on Eastern Parkway near New York Avenue and are in stable condition, police said.
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