2008-09-04 / Other News

Revelers Jam Route For West Indian Parade

By Aisha Al-Muslim

By Aisha Al-Muslim

(Clockwise from top) Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Paterson join community leaders to kick off parade Monday morning; Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz stands on float as it passes by revelers along the route; members of the International Association of Lions Clubs from Brooklyn and Queens on the march. (Phot o s by Dan Miller) Woman eyes goods sold by one of many vendors. Aisha Al-Muslim
Millions of revelers lined up along Eastern Parkway on Monday to take part in or watch all the color and excitement of the 41st annual West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.

“It was good to see the masses turn out their number to show support for the Labor Day Parade,” said St. Albans resident Patrick Newland, 28, a Jamaican native.

Spectators celebrated their various ethnic heritages
and cultural pride by waving the flags of various Caribbean nations, including Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados. Food vendors on the parade route from Crown Heights to Grand Army Plaza offered soul-satisfying West Indian specialties like jerk chicken, curried goat, oxtail and pig’s feet.

Thousands of marchers wearing colorful costumes made out of sequins, glitter and feathers danced to the sounds of reggae, soca and calypso from competing sound systems loaded on top of trucks. Although the annual parade takes place on Labor Day, it is modeled on traditional pre-Lenten Carnival festivities.

While there was no official crowd estimate reported, the parade is one of the largest in the city, according to the Associated Press.

Elmhurst resident Nichole Dossous, 27, felt that the parade was an excuse for women to dress nearly naked.

“It was a day for every fat woman in the West Indian community to wear next to nothing at all on the streets and feel somehow justified in the cellulite and belly fat giggling in every direction,” said Dossous, who is Haitian- American.

But Canarsie resident Martial Pamphile, 24, said he enjoys the parade because of the beautiful
Caribbean women who attend.

“I go to see women of all cultures dress crazy and scandalous,” said Pamphile, who is also Haitian-American.

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