CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Excitement in Crown Heights has been building throughout Labor Day weekend to the early-morning revelry of J’Ouvert and the eye-popping main event: the West Indian Day Parade.
Attendees of Monday’s festivities were looking forward to finally letting loose after the COVID-19 pandemic hampered plans for the beloved annual celebration of Caribbean culture in 2020 and 2021.
J’Ouvert, the first part of the parade, officially kicked off at 6 a.m. at Grand Army Plaza, winding its way south along Flatbush Avenue. The main event was set to begin at 11 a.m., working its way west along Eastern Parkway from Ralph Avenue.
Along the routes, NYPD officers closed multiple roads and were on high alert for signs of the violence that has, at times, marred the events in years past. Among the notable examples was the 2015 death of Carey Gabay, an aide to then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, from a stray bullet. Some officials, however, have said that such incidents are isolated in light of the millions of attendees at the festivities.
All attendees will have to go through one of 13 NYPD checkpoints along the event routes, to make sure there are no weapons. Then, revelers and participants alike can party for hours to mark the holiday.