The memory of J'Ouvert 2016 is guaranteed to be a somber one. Two people were killed during the festivities, a year after a Cuomo aide was fatally struck by a stray bullet in a pre-festivities shootout.

At least four more people were wounded when shots rang out on the corner of Empire Boulevard and Washington Avenue, which is almost the exact midpoint of the all-night party's one and a half-mile parade route. Despite the city's best efforts, history repeated itself, and already Monday morning some are openly wondering if J'Ouvert might be banned for good.

From the outside, many write off J'Ouvert—an all-night celebration of Caribbean pride that kicks off the fall carnival season—as a dangerous mess. But standing in the middle of it all, last night was beautiful. The relentless steel bands and booming stereos meant the parade was six straight hours of rhythmic bliss as paint, powder, and motor oil was lobbed in every direction. Limbs and voices shook beneath the flags of Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and many more West Indian nations, and more than a few communal rum bottles made the rounds.

The doubled NYPD presence, while formidable, wasn't stifling. Officers lined both sides of the entire parade route but allowed revelers to celebrate, with thousands of open containers and joints in sight.

Chanel Boothman, 19, made it to Crown Heights at 1 p.m. Sunday along with a group of friends from Queens. "We've been coming since we were young. I'm Trini, and this is my culture. J'Ouvert means just being free and open to express ourselves."

"We don't really care," Boothman said of the NYPD presence. "It's good that they're here to protect. I feel safe, I'm with my family."

"If you're gang-involved, that's when things happen," Andriana Beltre, 20, said as she walked on Eastern Parkway. Beltre, whose family is French Dominican, had traveled to Crown Heights from Boston for the entire West Indian American Carnival weekend. "But if you're not, and just be in the crowd, it's all about peace."