The annual Caribbean Carnival Festival, themed this year Celebrate Our Caribbean Pride And Culture began on Thursday, August 28, climaxing with a parade on Labour Day, yesterday September 1.
Blessed with beautiful weather, a larger than usual number of non-costume contingents representing a variety of institutions –– and independent individuals –– participated in the parade that started an hour late –– about 11:30 a.m. The groups included a few marching bands, colleges which West Indians attend, labour unions, nurses’ associations, officers of the police and fire departments, Lions International members, and politicians campaigning for upcoming elections, among others.
Often, many of the revellers of the wide variety of traditional large and small costume bands were forced to compete with large groups of persons who were simply waving flags.
The Babados Flag and colours were present everywhere –– on floats and trucks, and among patrons watching. Even the Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio was proudly waving his American Flag and Barbados Flag together. His wife Chirlane, whose grandmother is Bajan, and their son Dante were with him.
However, no clearly identifiable Barbadian mass band was seen, although one was expected.
Haiti had three trucks and a St Lucia radio station, one.
“The annual event has become the largest cultural festival in the country, drawing over three million people,” according to last year’s report from the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office.