Brooklyn's Labor Day Carnival 2012 | Time to Fete!

It is that time, once again, for Brooklyn's Labor Day Carnival celebration. West Indians from all over come to Brooklyn to celebrate  and party for this grand affair on this special weekend. It is time to fete! This year is the 44 Anniversary of the West Indian Carnival parade in New York City. This parade that was stared in Harlem and now take place at the end of Summer is the biggest parade that takes place in the New York area.

The parade route is on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn and spans the area from Utica Avenue to Grand Army Plaza. This is the parade route for the various band that takes place on Monday (Labor Day). However, before this day arrives there are many events that take place. The Calypso tents are already open many visitors have already taken in the shows. Calypsonians from Trinidad are the main featured singers with guest appearances from greats like the Might Sparrow, Calypso Rose and even Calypsonian Gypsy who now holds a Ministerial portfolio in the government of Trinidad and Tobago. 

This weekend all the fetes and main events leading up to the big parade on Monday will take place at various venues in the Brooklyn area. On Saturday there is the Kiddies Carnival parade and later in the evening is Panorama. On Sunday is the Dimanche Gras Competition. Early Monday morning is J'Ouvert and this is the time for freedom of expression with music (improvised and orchestrated) and costumes or lack there of with mud, oil, ochre and in some instances molasses - if is a time for fun and revelry. 

This week leading up to the weekend activities many will be visiting the mas camps with the pan fanatics making it their business to visit every Pan yard in the Brooklyn area. 

The following list of events may prove to be helpful for those visiting the area or feting in Brooking for the very first time.

On Thursday (today 08/30/12) there is 'Mas, Mas and More Mas'. This show was organized by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) to take the carnival celebrations back to the cradle of mas inventive days. The emphasis will be on traditional mas but the new elements of design will also be on display. This event will take place on the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn in New York.

On Friday August 31st. is Brass Fest. Now this used to be one of the biggest events of Trinidad's carnival but is now a 'lost tradition in the homeland'. This is the way it used to be and it is good to see the tradition being kept alive even if it is all the way in Brooklyn, New York. However, there is a twist to the event. I guess change is inevitable and this Brass Fest show is really 'Brass Fest Soca Madness and the featured artist is Trinidad's Machel Montano HD. Of course Machel will not be alone. Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy  and Barbados' Edwin Yearwood with Krosfyah along with Dominica's Zoiuk music band WCK. So if you want to party with the biggest name in Soca then this is the event that you just can't miss. The venue is the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum and show time should be around 8:00 pm. 

On Saturday the Kiddies will take the stage and will parade in costumes to the delight of parents and adults in attendance. This event is getting bigger every year and should be a grand affair this year. Please note that there is a $2.00 admission fee to enter the Brooklyn Museum grounds to see the kids cross the stage. 

On Saturday night is one of the big events that will be well attended - it is time for Panorama! For this year's event there will be eleven traditional steel bands performing to be crowned Panorama champions of Brooklyn's Labor Day Carnival. However there will be a special presentation for this year's celebration. WIADCA will feature the traditional steelpan as it was 'back in the day' ... Pan around the neck! This traditional style of 'playing pan' will be featured so that people could appreciate the changes that have taken place. 

The following is the list of steel band that will competed for the coveted title of Panorama champions:
1. Pan Sonatas
2. Pantonic
3. Metro
4. Sesame flyers
5. Adlib
6. Eastside Symphony
7. Harmony
8. Pan Fantasy
9. Crossfire
10. Despers
11. D’Radoes

For information regarding tickets to events or simply for general information please contact WIADCA at (718) 467-1797. The office is located at 323-325 Rogers Avenue in Brooklyn, N.y. 11225.

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