The Brooklyn West Indian Labor Day Parade and Caribbean Carnival

Celebrate NYC's Caribbean Culture With Music, Food, and Colorful Costumes

The West Indian American Day Parade & Carnival celebrates its 50th anniversary from Friday, August 31, to Monday, September 4, 2017. Many people assume that the "event" is just the Labor Day parade, but weekend is filled with concerts, events, and festivities, some lasting until 3:00 a.m. 

Edited by Alison Lowenstein

  • 01 of 07

    West Indian Caribbean American Labor Day Parade

    Two revelers in Caribbean traditional dress
    ••• Keith Getter / Contributor/Getty Images

    This is one of New York's most colorful parades, and for over fifty years has been a highlight of Brooklyn culture. Come and see the costumes, hear fabulous Caribbean music, grab some ethnic food from the street vendors, and join flag waving crowds celebrating West Indian culture. Among the nations represented are Trinidad, Barbados, and Grenada.

  • 02 of 07

    Practical Info

    40th Annual West Indian-American Day Carnival and Parade
    ••• Joe Kohen / Contributor/Getty Images

    There are indoor and outdoor events. Everything happens rain or shine. Some events are especially for kids. The Labor Day parade is free. Some events, however, are ticketed. Get tickets online at, email WIADCAINC@GMAIL.COM, or call (718) 467 1797. You can also order a four-day ticket online.

  • 03 of 07

    Caribbean Woodstock, Kick Off

    ••• Keith Getter / Contributor/Getty Images

    Thursday marks the official kick-off event for Caribbean Carnival Week festivities and will feature popular artists from the Caribbean.


  • 04 of 07

    Stay in School Talent Show

    West Indian Labor Day Parade
    ••• Johnny Nunez / Contributor/Getty Images

    For kids, the Stay In School Youth Talent Show is a fun free event that pairs a good message about staying in school with a talent show competition. This talent showcase highlights leaders of tomorrow as they perform hip-hop, dance, steel-pan, karate, fashion, spoken word, and much more.  

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Steel Band Competition


    Running from Friday of the Carnival week until, usually, the wee hours of the next morning, this steel band competition is about as memorable as any musical event you'll ever attend. 

  • 06 of 07

    Kiddie Carnival

    ••• Elaborate costume at Junior Carnival at West Indian American Labor Day Parade, 2013. Photo by E. Freudenheim

    Thousands of children and families enjoy this event, which include Passing the Torch: Junior Carnival in Brooklyn. See costumes from Junior Carnival

  • 07 of 07
    ••• Scott Dolan / Contributor/Getty Images

    For Fat Sunday, the last concert of the weekend!

    Come watch and hear the best West Indian steel bands compete in this fabulous carnival event.