West Indian Day parade draws thousands of revelers in Brooklyn

The annual West Indian American Day Parade stepped off in New York City on Monday with brightly colored costumes, steel bands, flag waving and street dancing.

The Brooklyn parade is the culmination of carnival week and one of the world’s largest celebrations of Caribbean culture. The parade routinely attracts more than 1 million people for what has become one the city's most spirited annual events.

The NYPD took extra precautions this year so that parade-goers could celebrate without the shootings and stabbings that marred previous years, especially at the early morning J'Ouvert festival. 

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Tarik Sheppard said there were no acts of violence, but officers made 7 arrests for gun possession there. 

However, just before 5:30 p.m., an violent in Crown Heights near the beginning of the parade route incident marred the end of the festivities.

Authorities say a fight ended with a 19-year-old man shot in the buttocks, a 16-year-old slashed in the leg and a 20-year-old man slashed int eh hand.

Two of the men were taken to nearby hospitals in stable condition, and no arrests have yet been made. 

The city's biggest street party took over Eastern Parkway delighting an estimated one and a half million spectators. Many proudly displayed flags honoring their Caribbean heritage.


Security measures heightened for J'ouvert and West Indian Day Parade

J’Ouvert and the West Indian Day Parade bring homemade dishes, colorful costumes, steel pan music, and up to two million revelers to Crown Heights.

As she participated in the ribbon cutting, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said, "Great to be here at the annual West Indian Caribbean Day Parade."

Months of planning between the NYPD, parade organizers, and community leaders resulted in a comprehensive security strategy to prevent violence without being intrusive. It included the use of drones to survey the area and avoid issues on side streets where fights broke out in the past. 

FOX 5 NY's Lisa Evers caught up with New York City Mayor Eric Adams

The sights, sounds, and floats captivated the next generation of first-time parade-goers.

"Celebrate my culture and where my parents came from," student Lyra Gilling said.

This is one city parade that draws the best of food choices, like seafood from Lei Litty's Kitchen, says owner Elisha Thompson.

"I love it and everybody's enjoying themselves," Thompson said.


NYC West Indian Day Parade: NYPD security preparations underway

The Labor Day tradition sees over two million people turn out along Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, and begins early Monday morning with J'Ouvert celebrations honoring Caribbean culture.

Long Island's Good Bickle restaurant was busy at their popup stand serving up a Caribbean favorite. Co-owner Yannnick showed me how it's done.

It was definitely a day for family fun a father of four shared.

"It's great to live in the United States of America, but it's great to know your traditions and customs," he said. 

The Mayor tells us that one of the goals was to make the weekend events family-friendly. The increased safety also made it more inviting for entrepreneurs of all types to sell their merch and find new customers.