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.
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.
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
- 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