More than a million people flocked to the Eastern Parkway on Monday to celebrate the borough’s Caribbean culture and community at the 48th annual West Indian American Day Parade.
Revelers decked out in bright feathers and very little else danced to thumping music along the thoroughfare between Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Heights to Howard Avenue in Crown Heights, flanked by thousands of flag-waving onlookers, who crowded the sidewalks to cheer them on and enjoy some Caribbean cuisine.
A throng of local officials also turned out to march and show their support for the community, including Mayor DeBlasio, Gov. Cuomo, and Borough President Adams.
But the pols said their spirits were marred by tragedy, after a gunman shot and critically injured a lawyer working with Cuomo’s administration five blocks from the parade route in the early morning hours on the day of the march.
“This event is one of the great events in the city each year — it’s one that I look forward to because it is joyous and it’s a positive example of all that’s great about this city,” said DeBlasio before the parade. “But it’s a sad day, because just as we were all coming here, we learned about this good young man who’s now fighting for his life. So it’s definitely a bittersweet day at this point.”
The victim, Carey Gabay, is currently in critical condition at Kings County Hospital, according to a police spokeswoman.