I know I am a bit late, but I have to share with you guys my great experience from Caribbean parade this year. New York Caribbean parade or carnival started in Harlem in 1920s. At first, the festivities took place every February just like in the Caribbean islands but were indoors due to cold NYC weather. In 1947 the parade was held in September and outdoors for the first time. In 1964 the permit for parade in Harlem was revoked, and in 1970 the parade moved to Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY where it takes place nowadays.
Usually I’m not a fan of big crowdings, but my Haitian-born husband cannot live without his annual dose of loud music, dances, and patties (baked puff pastries filled with savory fillings), so we go almost every year. Last year was tough – too hot, too crowded, Isabelle was too little… oh, well. This year felt totally different. My little one definitely enjoyed the loud rhythmic music, bright colors everywhere and her dancing daddy : )
Since we are a half-Haitian family, I kept my outfit in blue and red shades being inspired by the Haitian flag. Just a soft tee, skinny jeans, and super comfy flats to survive all day long festivities. I even had my own little Haitian flag that I wrapped around my go-everywhere crossbody bag.
The crowd was huge as always, but seeing Isabelle smiling and riding on my husband’s shoulders was awesome. The rainbow of Caribbean flags, jewelry and clothing is something you can’t find easily anywhere in New York during any other time of the year. I couldn’t resist and added a cute Haitian bracelet to my jewelry collection.
Some people get prepared really well and wear costumes inspired by national flags or bright, glittery, full of feathers carnival outfits similar to what you’ve probably seen on pictures from Brazilian carnival. Isabelle met a girl in cute two-piece dress and asked for the same one, so I definitely have to prepare something special for her next year.
All in all, if you happen to travel to New York around Labor Day weekend and don’t mind huge crowdings, make sure to visit the Brooklyn Caribbean Parade that happens every first Monday of September. Tasty food, rainbow of national costumes, music, and lots of fun are guaranteed : )
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