West Indian Labor Day Parade NYC

By :- R. Anthony Morrison

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The West Indian Day Parade and Carnival was started in the 1930's by Ms. Jessie Wardell and some of her friends. The earliest known Carnival street activity was held during the 1940′s when Ms. Wardell, secured the first street permit for a parade type event on the streets of Harlem. During the 1960′s, another Trinidadian, Rufus Goring, brought Carnival to Brooklyn. In 1967, Goring passed the reigns over to Carlos Lezama, who became president of WIADCA till 2001, when, due to his ill-health he retired.  His daughter, Yolanda Lezama-Clark served as president till 2011. Thomas Bailey was elected president in 2012 and continues to serve.

“The New York Caribbean Carnival Parade” has grown over the years from thousands of participants and tourists to over 1 million people in attendance since the mid 1990′s . The influx of tourists from all over the world has benefited New York City on an economic level, most recognizably with large corporations, small businesses and the tourist/service industries. The mission of the carnival organizers is to To promote, develop and celebrate Caribbean culture, arts, history and traditions through year-round programs which culminate with a week-long display of festivities and a grand finale Carnival parade expanding our cultural reach throughout the world.

This year the carnival did not disappoint, large crowds lined Eastern Parkway cheering on the marchers and costumed players as well as the revelers that joined the costumed dancers and musicians marching the parade route. What if you gave a party and all the islands came, well that was the West Indian American Carnival 2015. There were planty people repping the V.I., Posh was there and it was a good time.

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