West Indian carnival organizers plan to go ahead with New York Festival week

(Photo: Curbed NY)

The coronavirus has forced the cancelling and postponement of many events across the world, but carnival must continue. The Brooklyn -based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) says it plans to proceed with its year-round community programmes and the New York Caribbean Carnival Week “with several new offerings,”

New York has been among the American state hardest hit by the virus that has killed more than 80,000 people and infected nearly two million in the North American country.

WIADCA’s president, Dr. Jean Joseph, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the board will meet soon to make a definite decision on the holding of what is considered to be of the largest carnival parade in North America.

“We’re hoping to meet very soon to make a decision, and I’ll let you know,” said the Dominican-born Joseph about the carnival.

The carnival takes place on 3 ½ mile-long route on the sprawling Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. It happens on the first Monday in September coinciding with the Labour Day activities in the United States.

In a statement to community members and supporters, WIADCA said that “the rise of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has us facing unprecedented and daunting challenges daily.

“However, based on the increasing public health interventions and measures being implemented domestically and internationally, along with a considerable amount of time to assess and respond to developments between now and September, we at the West Indian American Day Carnival Association are planning to proceed with our year-round community programs and New York Caribbean Carnival Week with several new offerings,” the statement added.

WIADCA said it is currently working with a few of its community partners to provide resource and information.