Homie called me up a few weeks ago and said, “Hey, have you ever been to Brooklyn for Carnival?” I was like, “Nope.” Of course, I checked that it was ok with my family, but I said yes!
I’ve been to Caribbean Carnivals in Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Columbia (SC), and Raleigh. I hope to go to Caribana in Toronto and Cropover in Barbados soon. I’m torn as to which one I’ll attend first. Those two happen around the same time.
Any who, I packed my things up and made my way to Brooklyn. Being that I’ve been to events like this in the past, I was well aware of what items to bring. If you’re not sure, check out my previous post.
We attended two Jouvert events. The first was Bumpers N Paint. The DJ was lit. The crowd was super hype. We had paint and chalk plastered on us from ear to ear. Thankfully, our Uber driver had leather seats because we were a mess. The only complaint I have about this event was the price of drinks and the food being set up so late. The watered down drinks for $15 for a small drink and water bottles were $5. The event started at 4 and ended around 10. The food didn’t get set up until about 8pm.
The second was free with the city. This one occurred the morning of the parade, September 5th. The city blocks off several streets and allow a sunrise party up and down the block. The bands played real steel drums, cowbells, and a guira. The older crew dressed up in fancy costumes. I especially loved the ladies in the all white dresses; goals! The party went on til the parade started. We strutted to the parade in a décor of white and gray handprints, and a sprinkle of other colors.
Eastern Parkway was lined up on both sides with vendors. The vendors ranged from food to drinks, or trinkets you could buy. One vendor gifted my friend with a bead bracelet for his daughter. There are people selling flags and grilled food. It looked like one large family cookout. I loved every second.
Once the parade started, we were front and center on the barricade. My friend pretended like he was going to jump over, but we ladies were not amused. The parade began with city and government officials. Then, the Mas bands came thundering down. The music was too lit to not indulge. We danced and whined. Hoards of people jumped the barricade to dance alongside the trucks in the street, while the police turned their heads. Honestly, it’s probably for the best.
The thing I loved about the entire parade was the overwhelming excitement and love up and down the block. When I first mentioned that I was going to this parade, everyone made it seem like I was going to get shot out there. Now, I’m not saying there isn’t a risk, but it was not as nearly pronounced as they made it seem.
To see more pics and videos from my trip, check out my Youtube channel.
Other Things To Do In Brooklyn:
- Brooklyn Museum
- Prospect Park
- Grand Army Plaza
- Take a train ride
- Jewish Children’s Museum
- Brooklyn Botanical Garden
- Ode to Babel Bar
- Our favorite restaurants: Natural Blend (vegan), Kokomo’s (black owned), Island Burger, Mandeville Cafe, and Footprints (super cute outside eating area; Caribbean)
Which adventure would you like to see me go on next?