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A Labor Day in Crown Heights, Brooklyn......

Pics at Calabar Check them out! On Saturday evening I watched as my daughters had a ball on President Street between Franklin and Classon Avenues in Brooklyn, N.Y. This street is the logistical hub for steel band players to get their instruments to Washington Avenue. The Brooklyn Museum parking lot is transformed into an outdoor concert arena for West Indian Day Carnival Festivities. The girls and boys ran after one another on the large closed street. Neighbors served as vendors selling food, country paraphernalia, horns, and party spray. I even saw a fashion designer’s clothing modeled on mannequins. Some neighbors sat in chairs in conversation and enjoying the food; while others moved to the music of the Caribbean steel bands play freely in the street. I loved it! I was reminded of my childhood when my sister and I would walk from the free concerts at Wingate Park in the evening and come upon a band rehearsal. There is something great about the sound of music in the air! -The ability to freely enjoy and dance in gladness while showing the players appreciation for their talents. Years ago people could follow the floats after they’d finished performing in the parade all the way to their stop site. The truck would still be pumping the music and masqueraders with anyone that wanted to join in would be in the street dancing and drinking and just having them a good ole time. I believe my family was coming from an event at church one labor day and my father drove up towards eastern parkway. I remember us being like O MY GOD A Float is Coming Our Way! I will never forget the ladies and men dancing down the sides and a few on top on the car. -A priceless experience.
Pics at Calabar Check them out! We could hear the music and festivities and then the difference at its passing. It’s no wonder years later my sister and I followed a float sponsored by the local radio station. It was playing the recent hip hop and latest reggae music. At that time Buju Banton, Shaka Demis and Pliers, and Shaba Ranks were the hype! The music during Carnival is so contagious at some point you’ve got to dance. If you don’t and you’re near a float at the parade on Monday, you just might get a masquerader in the parade to come upon you and dance in front or behind you. Actually it doesn’t matter, they come regardless. It’s all in good fun yet unfortunately last year an officer got in trouble for dancing back. In my personal opinion there were enough police to back him up but I guess they wanted to make an example out of him so that more officers focus on the crowd. I understand. I guess they have to just stand there and smile like I’ve seem so many time before. It’s always fun to see the grin on the Male officers’ faces. I know there is also a reality of violence that takes place at some point during the weekend. It usually happens on the day of the parade in the wee hours of the morning, during the parade or at night. I pray this year crime is down. People are coming from many nations. I hope and pray our police departments can make it as fun and safe as possible for all to enjoy!
Pics at Calabar Check them out! Getting back to the girls,-Glitter was thrown to my youngest daughters face making her look festive. My eldest had bugged me this morning to wear a Jamaican shirt and shorts. I said are not from Jamaica. She wanted to fit in with her neighbors and friends. ‘I don’t have a USA or NYC shirt mommy. So I have to use this,’ she said. After worship services this morning she was ready to change her clothes and have fun at the Children’s Day Parade of the carnival. So this evening she was having so much fun with the participants, her neighbors and friends. Perhaps next year I’ll let them participate since we were asked. This Labor Day weekend thank God for your career and family-they’re also a job. Take time to dance and then rest a little bit from your labors. God wants that for the Sabbath anyway. Be Blessed!


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