By Amelia Rawlins
Colorful handmade costumes, cultural foods and island music are all again expected for Monday’s West Indian-American Day Parade – the largest parade in New York City.
“ We have done extensive planning and we have been working closely with the NYPD and the Fire Department and they are prepared to handle any situations that will occur,” Bailey said. “Things are looking good and we are anxiously looking at an exciting weekend starting tomorrow; the best is yet to come.”
“My expectation remains the same as it’s always been,” said West Indian-American Day Carnival Association President Thomas Bailey. “Incidents do occur, most of them we have no control over. In many instances the violence is not related to the parade.”
The parade has been the highlight of the year since its conception in 1969 representing islands including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Barbados and Grenada, to name a few. Each year, the parade brings in between 1 and 3 million attendees, making it the largest celebration in New York.
“The world focuses on us and we work hard to make sure that the event will go well,” said Frank Seddio, partner and founding member of the law firm of Seddio & Carone, PLC. “The goal is to have a safe event and that all the hard work that has been done will be seen during the parade.”
Seddio, who has been an active member of the parade for 41 years and originally served as the police coordinator for the event, says that the real test will be this weekend with the Brooklyn Museum events. “I am convinced we will have a good year this year,” he said.
This weekend’s festivities are set to start with Saturday’s annual Kiddie Carnival, a Dimanche Gras on Sunday and the J’Ouvert parade, a celebration of steel pan drums that kicks off the main parade beginning at 11am on Monday.
The parade route starts on Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway and then goes down Eastern Parkway towards Flatbush Avenue and finishes at Grand Army Plaza.
For more info www.wiadc.org