NYC J’ouvert celebration canceled again as pandemic continues, organizers say

Local News

file – In this Sept. 1, 2017 photo, Alexander Smart rehearses on steel drums with Despers USA in the Crown Heights neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The group will join tens of thousands of costumed revelers early Monday in New York City for a Caribbean celebration called “J’ouvert.” (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK —- Organizers canceled J’ouvert celebrations for the second year in a row because of health concerns.

The announcement follows the cancellation of the West Indian Day Parade. Organizers had hoped the pre-dawn parade could return this year, J’Ouvert City International President Yvette Rennie said.

“Sadly, the cons outweigh the pros when we look at the bigger picture of the health, well-being and safety of our participants and the viewing public as well,” Rennie said.

She said the parade would be back “bigger and better in 2022.”

There have been some virtual events and workshops to promote aspects of J’ouvert. There’s also a plan for a walking tour of historical buildings along the J’ouvert route in Brooklyn.

“Our vision includes showcasing the depth of our cultural expressions which include dance, music and artistry,” Rennie said. “So, though I am saddened to miss another J’ouvert parade, I am encouraged because J’ouvert City continues to expand our scope and is making an indelible contribution to quality of life in our City.”

With a promise of coming back “bigger and better in 2022,” J’Ouvert City International is confident that the cancellation of this year’s parade is the “most responsible thing to do at this moment in time.”

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