09/05/2011 J'Ouvert NYC Photos and Feature by Empress K 
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The  Annual West Indian Labor Day Parade on the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn is the finale of nearly a week long schedule of carnival events in the area.  Since I was planning to be in NYC for the Reggae Rhythm and Blues Festival, I had made arrangements to participate in the West Indian Labor Day Parade.  It pays to be flexible since plans changed at the last minute and instead of covering the daytime parade, I would be for the first time at the pre-dawn Steel Pan Parade known as J'Ouvert, which runs from about 4:00am to 10:00am. 

By 3:30 am I was at the parade location and  met up with costume designers from Something with a Difference & The  San Juan East Side Symphony, one of approximately 25 Steel Pan Bands participating this year.  J'Ouvert is a joyous celebration of  life, culture and tradition, which one MUST experience to truly appreciate.   As they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words".  See the picures below that I hope best capture the genuine spirit and smiling faces at J'Ouvert.   May the pictures entice you to participate next year.  As schedules permit, I'll most definitely be celebrating Carnival weekend in NYC again next year.   More photos of Labor Day events here:   Reggae Rhythm & Blues Photos at Roy Wilkins Park


J'Ouvert  - Let the festivities begin

As dawn approaches, the celebration continues

Daybreak and Eastern Parkway sets up for the West Indian Day Parade

See the slide show for the full photo gallery of J'Ouvert below