West Indian Day Parade 2012: What You Need to Know

Schedule, route and tips for enjoying Prospect Heights' biggest party of the year.


The West Indian American Day Carnival that began Thursday culminates on Monday with J'Overt and the Parade. Here's what you need to know:



According to the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, the name, J'Ouvert, comes from the French "jour ouvert" or daybreak, and began in Trinidad in 1937.

The event begins at 2 a.m. on Grand Army Plaza in front of the library, and travels southeast, ending on Nostrand Avenue and Linden Boulevard.

"In keeping with tradition, steel drums are the only forms of music that will be played. Revelers in J'Ouvert wear costumes also, but unlike Carnival day, J'Ouvert costumes are inexpensive and are often creations that mock political issues, celebrities, and prominent events," WIACA's website explains.


WIADCA's Tips:

1- Paint, powder and dye will be thrown; wear dispensible clothing.

2- Dress warmly against the early morning August chill and wear comfortable shoes.

3-Bring your own whistle or bottle and spoon to play along with the steel band.


Labor Day Parade and Carnival

The parade route begins at the corner of Rochester and Eastern Parkway and ends at Grand Army Plaza. It begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m.

The biggest parade in New York, the event is expected to get 3 million participants this year, according to WIADCA.

Participants wear elaborately designed costumes. There are also "huge sound trucks," some with live performers.         

WIADCA's Tips:

1- Come out early. The parade gets bigger each year with over 2 million participants on the Parkway. Police crowd barriers make it difficult to walk around, so you should find a good spot early where you can see clearly. You should be very patient; the thickness of the crowd makes things move slowly.

2. Dress comfortably. Wear shoes that you can walk long distances in. people will be stepping on your toes so open toe sandals are not recommended

3. Drink plenty of water. The sun will be on your head for hours, coupled with the crowds; it is easy to get dehydrated. Some people have been known to faint from being overwhelmed with heat so it is important to stay cool

4. Bring your flag! Represent your country with your national flag or rag. Don't be the one left out!


Street Closures during the West Indian American Day Parade and Festival



  • Buffalo Avenue between Eastern Parkway and East New York Avenue
  • Rockaway Parkway between East New York Avenue and Rutland Road
  • Ralph Avenue between Eastern Parkway and East New York Avenue
  • East New York Avenue between Howard Avenue and Utica Avenue


  • Eastern Parkway between Rochester Avenue and Grand Army Plaza


  • Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Caton Avenue

Miscellaneous closures:

  • Ocean Avenue between Empire Boulevard and Parkside Avenue
  • Butler Place between Grand Army Plaza and Sterling Place
  • St. John's Place between Underhill Avenue and Grand Army Plaza
  • Rochester Avenue between E New York Avenue and Sterling Place
  • Parkside Ave between Park Circle and Flatbush Avenue
  • Bedford Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Empire Boulevard
  • Empire Boulevard between Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Ave
Rabbi Mike September 04, 2012 at 07:40 PM
One doesent have to be to intelligent to realize that the women think of themselves as such.. take a look at the costumes and clips. And you identify with feminists, HA! the actual parade is the antithesis of it I also made it quite clear to everyone here. i support different cultures and the learning of it and have nothing against the parade. Im just calling a spade , a spade. They act in a way that shows they enjoy being the object of attention and usually do it with fervor once they realize they are being recorded. They do it to themselves and if they take offense of it than why do it... your just turning a blind eye to whats actually going on in the name of modernization. Which is fine but dont deny that its going on. you dont have to dilike or disrespect or be mean to say that it is going on.. its like walking into strip club and saying the dancer is fully clothed....
Rabbi Mike September 04, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I see, so the men grinding against the back of the women and the women shaking their bodies provocatively. these people are "respecting" themselves or demanding "respect"? No one isnt going to treat anyone differently, either way, but dont say that they are not there to be objectified as sex objects.....
Rabbi Mike September 04, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I only objectified it to the extent that they wanted it to be objectified, and iof you look at my first message i never actually referred to them as objects which is what the literal definition or the outcome of the word actually means. b) i never represented myself as a self proclaimed tzaddik! c) We live in America honey! don't think that everyone who hasnt migrated fro the couple of heavily populated Jewish zip codes is oblivious and lightyears behind you, i am as knowledgeable in the world as everyone else is did i forget to mention my college degrees ( think your comment about a dictionary was inappropriate)?, There is a possibility in my youth i may have actually been to one. d) who has anything against having a wife, and have to keep in line for her. as much as it is the "thing to do " to complain about wive,s i dont have any...
Rabbi Mike September 04, 2012 at 08:49 PM
im happy, and no she is not a sex object. and my nanny mind you has probably the best deal of most... all holidays (minor, major, and jewish) paid for , and shes off... etc.. so before you open your mouth and sound like an ignorant fool and think your ahead of everyone else slow down, i knew exactly what you referring to originally with your complaint you just dont seem to understand the fact that it is ok to want to be identified as an object but its a little hard to say for example when someone dresses immodestly or slutty that she doesent want to objectified as such. and by immodestly i dont mean according to orthodox rules I'm talking about American mode of dress. like i said before it like saying a stripper who bares it all or leaves something on doesent either want to be objectified.... yes they are two worlds apart the parade is based on tradition and the club is based on playing peoples desires but they fundamentally do the same thing . look at the way the males young and old alike react to both... enough said if you misunderstood what i said originally, reread it. If I offended anyone at the parade or in the parade I apologize.
Rabbi Mike September 07, 2012 at 07:03 PM
btw... Howard if you do know anything about their culture... you would know what they call exactly what your describing of my comments... you claim i refer to them as sex objects..... Have you ever heard of POOM-POOM ON DE PARKWAY?..... yes its the reference used for the grinding dances taking place on the parkway during the west indian day parade....


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