FLATBUSH, Brooklyn — It is one of the most joyous celebrations in the city, the West Indian American Day Carnival, a three-day festival over Labor Day weekend celebrating Caribbean culture.
But this year, because of the pandemic, it’ll be totally virtual.
“It’s a day to celebrate our culture and the struggles of my forefathers my parents and my sisters to come here for a better way of life,” Farah Louis, a NYC Councilmember, told PIX11 News.
At the Flatbush Caton Market, vendors and customers were celebrating their heritage, like Karlene Robinson playing her favorite reggae superstar, Bob Marley.
“When he had his last show in Massachusetts, he ate at my moms house for dinner” said Robinson, while selling Bob Marley music among others.
This colorful market was closed from mid March until July because of COVID-19 so now vendors are hoping to make up for lost revenue.
“We encourage everyone to come buy a flag, wear and show Caribbean pride and celebrate carnival,” Lisa Thompson, Caton Market Manager said. “It is about freedom and resistance, so that we can continue to be free."
The colorful costumes always bring fun fashions to the celebration.
“We have a wonderful exhibition of costumes, so you could reminisce about costumes you have purchased throughout the year,” Alton Amiable, presudent and founder of Tropical Fete said.
And just fifty yards from the Caton Market, a new Haitian fusion restaurant called Golden Blue opening this weekend and featuring bouillion, griot and fried fish.
“We were supposed to open since April but due to COVID we had to slow things down,” Amantha Cherry, the manager of Golden Blue said.
“This is the right spot to come for a bit of Haiti, the rest of the Caribbean food and the U.S.,”Jeffrey Joseph, an enthusiastic customer, told PIX11 News as he finished a second bowl of the traditional vegetable porridge served.