Caribbean crews: Weekend of West Indian parties and concerts

Feather-clad parade-goers strut their stuff at the West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day every year.
Paul Martinka

Brooklyn’s biggest parade is coming!

Eastern Parkway will be filled with feathered outfits, calypso beats, and the sizzle of Caribbean dishes on Labor Day, when the 52nd annual New York Caribbean Carnival Parade steps off at 11 a.m. The march caps a weekend full of events celebrating the West Indies, so here are some island-related events you can visit before the Labor Day parade.

Heavy metal

Kick off your weekend with a concert of soca music at Brassfest, dubbed “Brooklyn’s Savannah Grass” after the insanely catchy song “Savannah Grass” by Trinidad and Tobago band Kes, who will headline the show. Other acts include Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy, Skinny Fabulous, and many, many others.

Brassfest at Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 467–1797, www.wiadcacarnival.org]. Aug. 30; 7 p.m.–3 a.m. $65 ($125 VIP).

Mini march

The Junior Carnival Parade give kids a chance to take center stage at Carnival. The pint-sized parade will step off at 9 a.m. from the corner of Kingston Avenue and St. Johns Place in Crown Heights, march down St. Johns to Franklin Avenue, turn left on Franklin and parade to President Street, and then end with a festival on the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum.

Junior Carnival Festival at the Brooklyn Museum (see above). Aug. 31; 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Watching the parade is free. Festival $5.

Pan-tastic

Almost a dozen different steel pan bands will compete to be named the best pan band in the land at Panorama 2019 on Saturday night! The championship will go on until early in the morning, and the winner will be announced at Sunday night’s gathering.

Panorama 2019 at Brooklyn Museum. Aug. 31; 7 p.m.–3 a.m. $45.

Final night

The grand finale of the concerts at Brooklyn Museum will be the Dimanche Gras (Fat Sunday), a party with an all-white dress code. The night will showcase this year’s King and Queen of the bands, announce the winner of Panorama 2019, and highlight some of the best costumes to be deployed in the parade the next day. It will also feature performances from Calypso Rose, Lavaman, and the stilt-dancing group Kaisokah Moko Jumbies, among others.

Dimanche Gras at Brooklyn Museum; Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. $35.

The big day

Thousands of revelers will march in the parade, and millions will line Eastern Parkway to watch. This year’s Parade Grand Marshalls, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Haitian-born City Councilman Mathieu Eugene, will lead the party along the Parkway from Schenectady Avenue in Crown Heights to Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Heights. You can stake out a spot anywhere along the route, but the best view may be in front of the Brooklyn Museum, where each group of the acts will put on a show for the judges. Check out the elaborate outfits — many of which take an entire year to construct — dance to the steel pan bands, and get a dish of curried goat or jerk chicken from the many food vendors along the route.

New York Caribbean Carnival Parade (Eastern Parkway between Schnectady Avenue and Grand Army Plaza in Crown Heights, www.wiadcacarnvial.org). June 2; 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Free.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Sound off: The Pan Fantasy Steel Band will compete in Panorama 2019 at the Brooklyn Museum on Aug. 31.
Photo by Angel Zayas

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