The 50th annual West Indian American Day Parade once again turned Crown Heights into an all-day party, as wave after wave of masquerading revelers and J'Ouvert stragglers danced and daggered their way down Eastern Parkway to Grand Army Plaza. The weather was beautiful, the costumes often spectacular, the overall mood both raucous and light.
Once all of the politicians made their rounds along the grand boulevard (Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Senator Chuck Schumer made appearances, to name a few), the party really got started, as dozens of trucks and floats blasting music slowly glided by, surrounded by masqueraders, usually all dressed similarly according to a theme, or a color. Exuberant young revelers, many of them still going strong after staying up all night for J'Ouvert, roamed the route searching for the best party.
As always, the parade route was lined with tempting food stands, and if you were there and didn't get a plate or two of home-cooked goodness then I don't know what to tell you.
The NYPD seemed more concerned than ever about controlling the action at the parade, shadowing all of the largest and rowdiest trucks with their orange kettling nets. Officers also created huge gaps between the floats, presumably to ease crowding at the disbursement point at the parade's end, but also causing tedious lulls in the festivities. Toward the very end of the parade, one person was shot and another stabbed in separate incidents on Eastern Parkway. Both victims were expected to survive.