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By John Dias
Updated on: September 5, 2022 / 12:56 PM / CBS New York
NEW YORK — New York City is celebrating Caribbean culture with the return of the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.
It’s , and CBS2’s John Dias spoke with some of the tens of thousands of people who were overjoyed and proud to be from the Caribbean.
Bright and beautiful costumes of feathers and rhinestones have been waiting for the march down Eastern Parkway — each costume takes hours to make, sometimes days.
The annual Brooklyn tradition dates back to 1969, but this is the first time it’s back since 2019. The association says they get around 1.5 million in-person spectators annually, and more than 100,000 participants.
NY’s Finest will be working hard to keep J’Ouvert and the West Indian Day Parade safe. Having the opportunity to speak with many of these great NYPD cops today, I know their dedication is second to none. Their commitment every day is inspiring. Grateful to them all.🙏 pic.twitter.com/7yl7rrMzTz
“It’s the best feeling ever to just let loose, enjoy yourself,” Shanelia Rice told Dias. “Our ancestors, they came a long way, so definitely just coming out and being able to embrace your culture and embrace everyone else’s culture.”
“Every nationality comes out here, brings such a unity, despite all the divisive things in the world,” Shurland Alexandar-Mcloud said.
“I love my country, so we represent Haiti, we’re proud to be a Haitian,” said Raindy Georges.
Before the parade, many partied in the annual J’Ouvert celebration, which is French for “day break.” Starting at 6 a.m., it officially kicks off the festivities.
Participants followed the tradition of covering their bodies in mud, oil and other forms of body paint to party in the streets.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams plan to march in the parade, as well.
Security is tight, with , and everyone has to go through a metal detector.
John Dias is an Emmy-nominated reporter. He joined CBS2 News in November 2017.
First published on September 5, 2022 / 9:05 AM
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