The plaza at Brooklyn Borough Hall was festive Thursday afternoon, thanks to the music of a steel drum band and the dancing of young women in traditional costume. They were there to formally announce the dates and events of the 46th Annual West Indian American Day Carnival.
Four days of Caribbean traditions will precede the festive September 2 parade that runs down Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway. The West Indian American Day Carnival, the largest cultural festival in America, draws millions of attendees each year.
New this year is a partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio said would further promote business in the borough.
Attendees were in high spirits at the announcement.
"This year we're bringing old-time carnival with a new twist," said Natalie Brown, 25, of Canarsie. Brown is a member of the Ramajay Mas band, whose masqueraded entertainers -- in traditional Caribbean costumes and headdresses -- will be featured in the parade. "We're honoring our history in Trinidad and all the Caribbean islands, but with a modern spin."
In the days preceeding the parade, events will be held behind the Brooklyn Museum.
"We’ll have Caribbean Woodstock, NYU’s steel band program [and] four very big Caribbean bands performing," WIADCA board secretary Jean P. Alexander told amNewYork.