45th West Indian Caribbean American Labor Day Parade (PHOTOS/VIDEOS).

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012. The West Indian American Day Parade & Carnival celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2012. The party started on Thursday before Labor Day and ended on Monday, September 3 with the West Indian Caribbean American Labor Day Parade.

The West Indian Carnival is an annual celebration organized by The West Indian-American Day Carnival Association and its held on American Labor Day (the first Monday in September) in Brooklyn, New York City. The main event is the West Indian Day Parade, which attracts between one and three million participants. The spectators and participators watch and follow the parade on its route along Eastern Parkway. Some of the Caribbean islands represented in the parade include Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, and Grenada. Also represented are South American countries such as Guyana.

Monday, The Stop Mass Incarceration Network distributed thousands of bright orange and yellow whistles to parade viewers and marchers heralding a new and more widespread wave of public protest of the NYPD police of stop-and-frisk beginning Thursday, September 13.

But one group did not like the contingent’s message, and blocked them from entering the parade, then encircling them with hundreds of armed officers. The NYPD, despite the group’s authorization from the West Indian Day Parade Association to participate in the parade, refused the contingent admittance at several times and places along the route. At one point, after they were directed to their place in the march, police pushed the contingent out of the march and onto a side street.

The people of the Caribbean have exported their carnival traditions to Canada, England, and several US cities. However the New York version of this celebration far exceeds any similar celebration in the US. Labor Day Carnival Parade on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn attracts over 3 million people. The major events every year are PanoRama (steel orchestra competition), Stay in School Concert, Brass Fest (musical/entertainment concert), Kiddies (Junior) Carnival Parade and Mas, Mas and More Mas (carnival costume showcase). The ultimate Pre-Labor Day Carnival shebang – Sunday night’s Dimanche Gras Show.

According to an impact study funded by Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) in 2and the 003, the WIADC generated $86 million dollars for every 1 million attendees. Carnival now boasts over 3 million patrons and the economic impact generated via tourism, local purchases and sale of goods consumed along with mass transit use, exceeds $300 million.

Currently celebrating its 45th anniversary, The West Indian American Day Carnival is financed through grants from various New York city and state agencies, corporate sponsors, fund raising events and private donations; support is slightly down, says the President of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) Thomas Bailey.

Gallery is empty!

Short video of the 45th West Indian Caribbean American Labor Day Parade and Stop and Frisk.

A longer video of the 45th West Indian Caribbean American Labor Day Parade and BLOW the WHISTLE on STOP-and-FRISK on Thursday September 13.