Carnival Festival 2011: J’Ouvert, parade, music, food, sexy women, handsome men and more!

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THE WEST INDIAN AMERICAN DAY CARNIVAL ASSOCIATION, INC. Celebrates 44th Annual West Indian Carnival Festival September 1st to September 5th, 2011. Brooklyn, NYC.

J’Ouvert, Labor Day Caribbean parade, delicious food, music, sexy women, handsome men and more!

OR West Indian Caribbean parade.

J’Ouvert: Monday, September 5. 4am.
TRAINS: 2, 3 to Grand Army. Q to Prospect Park.
Caribbean Parade: September 5. 11am
TRAINS: 2 to Grand Army Plaza or Franklin Avenue. 3 to Grand Army Plaza or Franklin Avenue or Utica Avenue. 4 to Franklin Avenue or Utica Avenue. 5 to Franklin Avenue.


J’ouvert is a large street party during Carnival in the eastern Caribbean region. J’ouvert is a contraction of the French jour ouvert, or dawn/day break.

J’ouvert is celebrated on many islands, including Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, Sint Maarten, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. It is also a feature of New York City’s West Indian Day Parade held on Labor Day, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn and Notting Hill Carnival in London, both areas that have a large Caribbean ex-pat communities.

The celebration involves calypso/soca bands and their followers dancing through the streets. The festival starts well before dawn and peaks a few hours after sunrise.

The traditions of J’ouvert vary widely throughout the Caribbean. In Trinidad and Tobago, a part of the tradition involves smearing paint, mud or oil on the bodies of participants known as “Jab Jabs”. On the islands of Dominica, Saint Lucia, Guadalupe, Saint Martin and Haiti, participants celebrate by blowing flutes and conch shells or by beating Goat skinned drums, irons or bamboo sticks while singing folk songs.

West Indian American Day Carnival – Parade of Bands.

The Labor Day Parade (or West Indian Carnival), is an annual celebration held on American Labor Day (the first Monday in September), in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York.

The main event of the parade is the West Indian-American Day Parade, which attracts between one and three million participators. The spectators and participators watch and follow the parade on its route along Eastern Parkway.

Ms. Jessie Waddell and some of her West Indian friends started the Carnival in Harlem in the 1920s by staging costume parties in large enclosed places like the Savoy, Renaissance and Audubon Ballrooms due to the cold wintry weather of February. This is the usual time for the pre-Lenten celebrations held in most countries around the world. However, because of the very nature of Carnival, and the need to parade in costume to music, indoor confinement did not work well.

The earliest known Carnival street parade was held on September 1, 1947. The Trinidad Carnival Pageant Committee was the founding force behind the parade, which was held in Harlem. The parade route was along Seventh Avenue, starting at 110th St.

The first Carnival Queen was Miss Dorothy Godfrey. The Committee raised money to finance the parade. They sold advertisement space and boosters, that were printed in a Souvenir Journal for West Indies Day, a booklet which is a memento of that first parade. Mrs. Jessie Waddell Compton is presented in the journal as the person “whose inspiration and enterprise” was owed to the formation of this committee. The committee consisted of Mrs. Waddell Compton-Chairman; Ivan H. Daniel-Vice Chairman; Conrad Matthews-Treasurer; Roy Huggins-Secretary; and Robert J. Welsh-Assistant Secretary. Each member of the committee contributed in helping to organize the parade. The after-parade party, which the Trinidad Carnival Pageant Committee held at the Golden Gate Ballroom (located at 142nd St. and Lenox Ave), was arranged by James M. Green, another figure who helped make the first Carnival Parade in Harlem successful.

The permit for the Harlem parade was revoked in 1964. Five years later, a committee headed by Carlos Lezama, which eventually became the West Indian-American Day Carnival Association, obtained approval for the parade to be established on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, where it remains today.


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