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Thousands of New Yorkers flock to the streets of Brooklyn for the West Indian J’Ouvert parade

Thousands flooded the streets of Brooklyn for the city’s 55th annual West Indian J’Ouvert Parade on Monday in celebration of the cultural event for the first time since the pandemic.

J’Ouvert is a Caribbean carnival that signifies a tradition started by freed slaves after emancipation. Parade-goers dressed up in Caribbean garb while waving flags of their homeland.

This year’s theme dubbed, ‘Rejuvenate Breaking the Chain and Embracing the Movement,’ featured the J’ouvert Festival on the streets of Brooklyn at 6am with thousands decked out in costumes while drums roared in the background in the early morning. Festivities are expected until 6pm ending with the West Indian Day Parade.

‘New York City is back and J’Ouvert celebrations are back better than ever,’ NY Mayor Adams said in a video celebrating the return of the event. 

 ‘As we dance our way down the parade route, we do so in a renewed spirit of unity, resilience, and togetherness.’ 

Adams made an afternoon appearance along the parade route while drawing the attention of multiple participants. 

Meanwhile, New York Police Department were seen throughout the streets as officer presence is set to remain high for the remainder of the day. 

‘Officers are working out along the route to ensure a safe celebration for all,’ NYPD wrote on Twitter.

Parade-goers were lively ahead of the celebrations while dancing in the street. One officer was seen being danced on by a cheerful woman. 

New Yorkers took the streets of Brooklyn on Monday for J'Ouvert celebrations near Brooklyn's Prospect Park

New Yorkers took the streets of Brooklyn on Monday for J’Ouvert celebrations near Brooklyn’s Prospect Park 

Several parade participants danced in the streets as New York Police Department took the streets to protect the crowd during the early morning of Labor Day

Several parade participants danced in the streets as New York Police Department took the streets to protect the crowd during the early morning of Labor Day

One parade-goer danced with a police officer nearby on Monday morning

One parade-goer danced with a police officer nearby on Monday morning 

Hundreds of people lined up along Easter Parkway in Brooklyn waiting for the festival to begin

Hundreds of people lined up along Easter Parkway in Brooklyn waiting for the festival to begin 

The streets were filed with participants as some waved flags before dawn on Monday

The streets were filed with participants as some waved flags before dawn on Monday 

One participant is seen shirtless with a cross as the festivities begin

One participant is seen shirtless with a cross as the festivities begin 

A woman was seen dancing while sporting fish net stalkings and a red outfit topped off with a head covering

A woman was seen dancing while sporting fish net stalkings and a red outfit topped off with a head covering 

Some participants covered themselves in black paint

Some participants covered themselves in black paint 

Parade-goers were ready to celebrate before dawn with some throwing powder and colored paint over women dancing

Parade-goers were ready to celebrate before dawn with some throwing powder and colored paint over women dancing 

Multiple people dancing on and with one another. A few participants are seen dancing while the crowd admires from a distance

Multiple people dancing on and with one another. A few participants are seen dancing while the crowd admires from a distance 

NY Mayor Eric Adams joined in on the festivities. Adams was seen along the parade route on Monday afternoon

NY Mayor Eric Adams joined in on the festivities. Adams was seen along the parade route on Monday afternoon 

Officers prepared for the festival on Sunday by barricading the streets

Officers prepared for the festival on Sunday by barricading the streets

The crowds flocked to the Grand Army Plaza before dawn as multiple roads were set to be closed throughout Brooklyn for the festivities. 

About 13 entry points were set up for participants to be screened for weapons and alcohol.  

The early morning crowd appeared to be jolly ahead the full day. Flags representing the Caribbean were seen all around as participants entered the streets with pride of their homeland. 

Some participants helped others get into the spirit of the day by tossing around buckets of paint and powder. As many energetically danced at sunrise, several parade-goers were seen getting paint splattered onto their bottoms while they bent over and danced.  

Multiple parade participants walked through the street and danced on one another while covered in black paint and white foam, which resembled shaving cream. 

Participants were seen climbing on top of parade floats waiting for the festivities to begin while others smiled in glee.

Two parade goers covered their bodies in black paint while wearing chains around their necks

Two parade goers covered their bodies in black paint while wearing chains around their necks 

Participants danced in the streets while others watched

Participants danced in the streets while others watched

The crowds were being covered in powder and liquid

The crowds were being covered in powder and liquid 

Hundreds of people flocked to the streets before sunrise

Hundreds of people flocked to the streets before sunrise

Some participants wrapped the flag of their homeland flags around their back as some were covered in paint

Some participants wrapped the flag of their homeland flags around their back as some were covered in paint

Many participants headed to the streets before sunrise

Many participants headed to the streets before sunrise

A man with a paint bucket was seen covered in lime green and white paint

A man with a paint bucket was seen covered in lime green and white paint 

Two women were seen sporting the flags of their homeland

Two women were seen sporting the flags of their homeland

Participants showed off their attire they have been planning for the festival. Cotton, lace, tulle, and colorful flowers are historical stable pieces in the Caribbean.

One group of women wore tulle dresses with white bows and head wraps. Their outfits were accessorized by what appeared to be multiple layers of a pearl necklace and colorful flowers attached to their dresses. 

Others wore flags representing their home in the Caribbean while some carried chains around their necks.

Seamstresses prepared weeks for the event and spent time before the festival perfecting their attire. 

Marilyn Gaymes, a seamstress from the Trinidad helped put together Afro-Brazilian inspired outfits for more than 100 people. 

‘It’s my first J’ouvert here in New York,’ Gaymes told CBS News while explaining her group portrays a cleansing festival known as ‘Lavagem.

Meanwhile, Ebony Jewels wore her attire on Monday for the first time.

‘I’m just going to be one of the masqueraders,’ Jewels told CBS News. ‘My top is a crop top that matches this with lots of pearls, lots of while and a nice beautiful flower headpiece.’

Some seamstresses prepared a year for their costumes. 

‘It takes some time to source the material and research,’ Kandell Julien told CBS News.  

A group of women showed off their attire that included tulle dresses with white bows and head wraps. Their outfits were complemented by pearl-like necklaces and colorful flowers

A group of women showed off their attire that included tulle dresses with white bows and head wraps. Their outfits were complemented by pearl-like necklaces and colorful flowers

A group of women smiled nearby two police officers

A group of women smiled nearby two police officers 

A participant in a gold colored wig, layers of necklaces and a backseat filled with colorful flowers smiled while heading toward the crowd

A participant in a gold colored wig, layers of necklaces and a backseat filled with colorful flowers smiled while heading toward the crowd 

Another woman was seen in attire similar to a two piece bathing suit while wearing a headwrap

Another woman was seen in attire similar to a two piece bathing suit while wearing a headwrap

Many laughed and danced amid the festivites

Many laughed and danced amid the festivites

Two people are seen dancing on a police baricade

Two people are seen dancing on a police baricade 

One woman is seen slapping paint onto another woman's back while she dances

One woman is seen slapping paint onto another woman’s back while she dances 

Covered head to toe, another participants holds a bucket of white paint as others are covered with it

Covered head to toe, another participants holds a bucket of white paint as others are covered with it 

One woman was carried through the festivities while on top of a child's car

One woman was carried through the festivities while on top of a child’s car

Parade-goers were seen climbing on a float nearby a Wendy's

Parade-goers were seen climbing on a float nearby a Wendy’s

While Monday marks the first J’Ouvert parade since the pandemic, COVID-19 didn’t stop parade-goers from gathering last year. 

The Indian Delta variant forced the city to cancel the official festival for the second year in a row in 2021, but Brooklyn’s Caribbean community staged its own unofficial party.

Hundreds of Brooklynites joined in the fun last year while decked out in similar attire.   

The streets of the Crown Heights and Flatbush neighborhoods filled up with people eating and drinking at barbecues and parties, carrying the flags of their countries, dousing one another with paint, and walking or dancing along with family and friends until daylight. 

A contingent of NYPD officers were also present. 

One woman was pictured bent over as two men place green paint on her behind

One woman was pictured bent over as two men place green paint on her behind 

Another man wore a construction hat with a dump truck while covered in black paint. He held another object in his mouth

Another man wore a construction hat with a dump truck while covered in black paint. He held another object in his mouth 

Many participants were decked out in black paint waiting for the event to begin

Many participants were decked out in black paint waiting for the event to begin 

A group of women were splattered in paint ahead of the festivities

A group of women were splattered in paint ahead of the festivities 

One man wore a viking hat while chains hung from around his neck. He held an old-fashioned phone that he talked through

One man wore a viking hat while chains hung from around his neck. He held an old-fashioned phone that he talked through 

Another participant brought a chair with him and sat in it while a crowd formed around him

Another participant brought a chair with him and sat in it while a crowd formed around him 

A women in a wheelchair sat down as others prepared for the day ahead

A women in a wheelchair sat down as others prepared for the day ahead

A lizard was seen decked out in gold as spectators stopped to pet the reptile

A lizard was seen decked out in gold as spectators stopped to pet the reptile 

Two people were seen dancing on the cement of the street while laughing

Two people were seen dancing on the cement of the street while laughing 

Many people dancing throughout the street as police observed nearby

Many people dancing throughout the street as police observed nearby 

The police department roamed around on a float as multiple officers played various instruments to a Caribbean song. Various instruments played included the guitar, tuba, drums and saxophone.

‘The NYPD Band is leading the way in today’s West Indian Day Parade,’ the department wrote in a Tweet.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11182039/NYPD-sends-cops-force-thousands-line-streets-West-Indian-JOuvert-parade.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Thousands of New Yorkers flock to the streets of Brooklyn for the West Indian J’Ouvert parade

Emma Colton

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