NEW YORK - Caribbean nationals across the U.S. have no way of accurately self-identifying on U.S. Census forms or telling their economic story in real numbers, but when it comes to throwing the biggest street party, they have that covered.
For the 43rd year, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association is gearing up to celebrate mas in Brooklyn, NY on Monday, September 6, 2010. Fear of being accurately counted and talk of `minding we own business,` will be replaced by skimpily clad revelers, publicly wining and grinding for the cameras as they jump behind floats that will get rolling from noon at Schenectady Avenue on Eastern Parkway this year.
For one weekend, Caribbean nationals in the city will be lauded for their ability to throw a great party and for their great food and drink. Beyond that who cares, really, right? Of course, the celebration is for the entire weekend. Last night, the focus was put on Haiti with a concert to benefit Yele Haiti at the Brooklyn Museum grounds, 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY.
Grammy Award-winning singer and Haiti`s Presidential hopeful, Wyclef Jean, was a last minute no-show but performances came from the likes of Trinidad and Tobago`s David Rudder, Soca`s Kevin Lyttle and reggae`s Serani, Kymani Marley and Freddy McGregor.
Tonight, Soca star Machel Montano is set to rock the stage at Brassfest along with Patrice Roberts, Destra, Krosfyah and Denise Belfon among others.
Pan, the soul of carnival, gets the spotlight on Saturday night, September 4th at Panorama, as local steel pan bands compete for the title of 2010 Band of the Year. Rikki Jai, Ajala and Rudder are among the top entertainers planned to take over the stage at this year`s Dimanche Gras competition, set for Sunday night, September 5th.
On Monday, September 6th, politicians will gather to smile and wave at the tens of thousands who are expected to line the route along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn for the finale of a mas weekend that will end at Grand Army Plaza at 6 p.m. promptly. For one day, all non-Caribbeans will be Caribbeans and politicians will take photos holding black babies and proclaiming their love for the Caribbean and Caribbean nationals.
On Tuesday, September 7th, all will be forgotten as quickly as the New York Sanitation Department cleans up the streets along Eastern Parkway and the Caribbean American bloc will go back to being a dismissed group – until next year of course when it will be bacchanal time all over again.