CROWN HEIGHTS — Eastern Parkway was in a festive mood this Labor Day as huge crowds gathered to show off their Caribbean pride for the West Indian Day Parade.
People waved flags, dressed in colorful costumes and ate traditional food like jerk chicken and roti during the 47th annual parade Monday.
Adrienne Eason from Hackensack, New Jersey, said she was “loving every second” of the parade, which she attended for the first time this year.
“I love the music. I love food. I love that we’re all together from the islands,” she said.
Mikerlyne Vallon, who wore a bright red wig and carried a Haitian flag, said her favorite things about the parade included the people and the food. The event, she said, was always a good time.
“The turn up is real,” she said.
Bronx resident Yosef Brand, 24, who has attended the parade four times, called it a must-see attraction for visitors.
“You get to see Caribbean people come together as one,” said Brand, who is originally from St. Kitts and Nevis. Seeing so many people celebrate their heritage gave him a “great feeling,” he said.
This year’s marchers included Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who along with his family entertained crowds with their “Smackdown” dance.
Gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, who was joined by her running mate Tim Wu, also danced her way down the parade route, according to reports.
The parade began at 11 a.m. at Eastern Parkway and Schenectady Avenue and headed west toward Grand Army Plaza.