Get Ready For 2019 J’Ouvert & West Indian American Day Festivities

Get Ready For 2019 J’Ouvert & West Indian American Day Festivities

CROWN HEIGHTS/FLATBUSH – The 52nd annual West Indian American Day Carnival returns this weekend with a series of festivities honoring Caribbean history, culture, and unity, including a Junior Carnival for the kids and the popular “day break” J’Ouvert celebration.

With an array of steel band music, dancing, food, colorful costumes and floats, and much more, the Carnival draws more than a million revelers to Brooklyn each year. The NYPD and NYC DOT will close off several local streets over the course of the long weekend to accommodate the large crowds. See the list of street closures below.

West Indian American Day Junior Carnival
Saturday, August 31, 9am to 4pm
Begins at Kingston Avenue/St. John’s Place and continues to Franklin Avenue to President Street, and ends at the Brooklyn Museum

The following streets will be closed on Saturday from 8am to 5pm:

  • St. John’s Place between Kingston & Franklin Avenues
  • Franklin Avenue between St. John’s Place & President Street
  • President Street between Franklin & Washington Avenues
  • Washington Avenue between Sterling Place & Empire Boulevard
  • Classon Avenue between President Street & Eastern Parkway

J’Ouvert
Monday, September 2, 6am to 10am
Parade route starts at Grand Army Plaza, heads south on Flatbush Ave, east on Empire Blvd, south on Nostrand Ave, and ends at Midwood Street.

The following streets will be closed on Monday from 6am to 11am at the discretion of the NYPD:

  • Grand Army Plaza (entire circle)
  • Buffalo Avenue between Eastern Parkway & East New York Avenue
  • Rochester Avenue between East New York Avenue & Sterling Place
  • Ralph Avenue between Eastern Parkway & East New York Avenue
  • East New York Avenue between Howard & Utica Avenues
  • Eastern Parkway between Howard Avenue & Grand Army Plaza
  • Washington Avenue between Sterling Place & Lincoln Road
  • Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza & Caton Avenue
  • Ocean Avenue between Empire Boulevard & Parkside Avenue
  • Butler Place between Grand Army Plaza & Sterling Place
  • St. John’s Place between Underhill Avenue & Grand Army Plaza
  • Rockaway Parkway between East New York Avenue & Rutland Road
  • Parkside Avenue between Park Circle & Flatbush Avenue
  • Bedford Avenue between Eastern Parkway & Empire Boulevard
  • Empire Boulevard between Flatbush & Nostrand Avenues
  • Nostrand Avenue between Empire & Linden Boulevards
  • Lincoln Place between Eastern Parkway & East New York Avenue

NYC West Indian American Day Carnival Parade
Monday, September 2, 12pm to 6pm
Parade route starts on Eastern Parkway at Schenectday Avenue and travels west towards the Brooklyn Museum/Grand Army Plaza for a grand finale.

The following streets will be closed on Monday at the discretion of NYPD:

  • Grand Army Plaza (entire circle)
  • Buffalo Avenue between Eastern Parkway & East New York Avenue
  • Rochester Avenue between East New York Avenue & Sterling Place
  • Ralph Avenue between Eastern Parkway & East New York Avenue
  • East New York Avenue between Howard & Utica Avenues
  • Eastern Parkway between Howard Avenue & Grand Army Plaza
  • Washington Avenue between Sterling Place & Lincoln Road
  • Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza & Caton Avenue
  • Ocean Avenue between Empire Boulevard & Parkside Avenue
  • Butler Place between Grand Army Plaza & Sterling Place
  • St. John’s Place between Underhill Avenue & Grand Army Plaza
  • Rockaway Parkway between East New York Avenue & Rutland Road
  • Parkside Avenue between Park Circle & Flatbush Avenue
  • Bedford Avenue between Eastern Parkway & Empire Boulevard
  • Empire Boulevard between Flatbush & Nostrand Avenues
  • Nostrand Avenue between Empire & Linden Boulevards
  • Lincoln Place between Eastern Parkway & East New York Avenue
Via wiadcacarnival.org

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss security measures for this year’s J’Ouvert and West Indian American Day events. Security for the events was beefed up in recent years after a series of fatal shootings including the killing of Governor Cuomo aide, Carey Gabay, during J’Ouvert in 2015.

The NYPD’s security plans for the 2019 J’Ouvert celebration and West Indian American Day Parade will closely follow last year’s successful model in which community members helped create. “I want to commend all the leadership in the NYPD, all the members of the NYPD who participated with the community in determining a better approach,” said Mayor de Blasio at today’s briefing. “It was done with a neighborhood policing philosophy, so instead of saying, ‘Here’s a plan, accept it,’ months and months of dialogue took place.” Along with the NYPD, a group of community members and local organizers will help ensure public safety during the weekend events.

“That engagement, block by block, person by person engagement—well before J’Ouvert—made a big difference last year,” the Mayor continued. “This is a very different kind of approach than we’ve seen in years past and last year we saw the model work…. We saw a model that was community-based and worked. So, we’re building upon that…the combination of different strategies we found to be what we want to do going forward and what we’re going to do this year.”

“Like last year, the parade route will be closed to the public the night before (Sunday, September 1),” de Blasio explained. “Also like last year, the parade will not start until it becomes light out, around 6am. There will be a very substantial number—over 300—light towers activated. There will be thousands of NYPD officers along the route.”

The Mayor noted that in some areas, light towers will be illuminated on blocks surrounding the parade route as well to “create a safer environment.” He also added that there will be more mobile patrol units, including officers on bicycles, to help cover a broader area as well as an additional entry point to “help ease the flow of crowds.”

There will be a total of 13 entry/security checkpoints where attendees will be screened for weapons and alcoholic beverages. Backpacks and other large bags will be prohibited from the events.

The NYPD will also install temporary surveillance cameras along the route and NYPD blocker cars, barriers, and NYC Department of Sanitation trucks will be situated along the perimeter of the parade route.

NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison provided details regarding J’Ouvert. “Event organizers are projecting 26 bands and over 300,000 spectators,” he said. “Participants in J’Ouvert will start lining up at 2am on Flatbush Avenue from Empire Boulevard to Grand Army Plaza and the parade will begin at 6am.” The two-mile parade will wrap up around 10am.

For the West Indian American Day Parade which follows, Harrison said, “Floats and participants will start lining up around 10am in the morning and the march itself will formally step off at noon. Event organizers are expecting at least 40,000 participants and more than 1 million spectators.”

The J’Ouvert and West Indian American Day celebrations are among the “largest cultural parades the city offers,” Harrison noted, “and we want everyone at J’Ouvert and the parade to have an enjoyable event.”

“It’s a very exciting moment for many people who wait all year to participate in this event and we want to make sure that people can do it in a safe manner,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams added.

Check out photos from last year’s J’Ouvert and West Indian American Day Parades here and find out about more events leading up to Monday’s Parade & Carnival at the West Indian American Carnival Association’s website  and Facebook page.

The MTA will be operating on a Sunday schedule on Monday, September 2, and the following nearby subway stations will be affected:

  • From 11am to 7pm, the Utica Ave-Crown Heights 3 & 4 station will have the following changes to prevent overcrowding on stairs and platforms: the stairways at Utica Ave will be entrance-only and the stairways at Schenectady Ave will be exit-only.
  • Eastern Pkwy-Brooklyn Museum 2, 3, 4 station will be bypassed in both directions from 6am to 8pm. The MTA recommends using the Grand Army Plaza or Franklin Ave stations instead.
  • 4 trains will run local in Brooklyn between Atlantic Ave-Barclays Ctr and Utica Ave from 6am to 7pm.
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