parade

It's Carnival. Look Bacchanal

It's Carnival. Look Bacchanal

Brooklyn's J'Ouvert and Labor Day Parade

It's been one week since Labor Day. A day where West Indians celebrate the culture and pageantry of the Caribbean with festivities throughout the long weekend culminating in a parade along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. However, this day was full of disappointments and tragedy.  The predawn j'ouvert street party was once again marred by violence and the annual parade was a lackluster crawl.

True Masqueraders

True Masqueraders

Toronto Caribbean Carnival (Caribana)

I have been to Toronto many times for many reasons, but my favorite reason for venturing to T-Dot is Toronto's Caribbean Carnival (better known as Caribana).  This year, I resolved to not only sit on the sidelines and watch the parade from behind a giant fence, but to don the revealing costume and play mas. 

Me Two Hand in the Air

Me Two Hand in the Air

Long Island Carnival 

“This should probably only take about three hours.  There are only two mas bands on the road, so I’m sure I will be back home by 5pm.”  I had to eat those words when I returned home close to midnight on September 7th after attending Long Island Carnival.  Why did I even bother to go?  Well, as Brooklyn Carnival was just one week prior, I still had the carnival jumbie in me and Long Island Carnival offered a quick fix.

I Find Mehself in A Jouvay Band

I Find Mehself in A Jouvay Band

Boston Carnival

The last time I attempted to experience the Carnival, Hurricane Irene blew through the east coast and forced me to return to New York prior to the parade.  I took that as a sign.  Two years later, I made a second attempt.  Luckily, the air was cool and sunny skies blanketed the massive festival that began at 5am with j’ouvert and ended some twelve hours later.  Fine.  I am converted.  Boston Carnival, ah comin’ again!