Thousands flock to Caribbean celebration ahead of West Indian Day Parade

Sunrise Day Soirée drew thousands heading into Labor Day weekend full of Caribbean celebrations in Crown Heights

"We have Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, Saint Vincent, everybody in the house," one organizer shared.

Nearly 6 thousand people packed into Brooklyn museum’s parking lot transformed into sun-nation’s Sunrise Day Soirée full of food and flavor from every island.

"It’s amazing celebrating Caribbean culture in New York I was born and raised in Grenada," said Crystal Frances who attended. 

Some of the best talents from the islands rocked the stage heading into the night.

The massive crowd enjoyed food and vendors creating that island atmosphere in the heart of Brooklyn.

"It’s nice full of spice. We’re here with all the different spices from Jamaica, so we’ll have curry goat, curry goat patty. That’s amazing the flavor, the spice everything," explained the supervisor of Tasty Delicious, one of the event’s vendors. 


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.

The festival is just hours ahead of the overnight Celebration of J’ouvert, a holiday rooted in the rebellion of enslaved people across the Caribbean Diaspora. 

"It means that we are fighting for our freedom. We’re fighting for our rights. We’re fighting for our ways of just being human like everyone else," said Samantha Bernadine, a J’ouvert City International board member. 

The event set the stage heading into The West Indian Day Parade Carnival. a huge economic driver for the city everyone can be a part of. 

"New York carnival is 56 years this year. And we’re celebrating the world stage. World stage means everybody is going to be on that parkway in our events supporting the steel band and everything," Rhea Smith, with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association explained.