Steel Drum Style

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The last time I made it out to the West Indian Day Parade was back when I was in college, and the main thing I can remember from it is just how big and loud and overwhelming and wonderful it all is. It’s been a shameful omission from my Labor Day traditions since, but that’s something I’m hoping to remedy this year. The festivities pay tribute to countries like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti, with dancers in truly epic, revealing, feathered-and-sequined creations, floats, and thumping music; stands will also be set up selling traditional food like jerk chicken and fried fish, as well as all manner of tchotchkes shouting out the represented countries. Despite a few isolated (and well-publicized) incidents of violence last year, the parade is an extraordinary tribute to the city’s thriving West Indian community and an iconic Brooklyn experience that shouldn’t be missed.¬†–C.A.

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