Caribbean Fever: Breaking Down the West Indian American Day Carnival

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  • Celebrate Good Times
  • A New Home
  • Welcome to Brooklyn
  • Changing of the WIADCA Guard
  • A Jam-Packed Weekend
  • Early Birds Get the Party Started
  • A Winding Route
  • Island Tunes
  • Some Food and Fashion on the Side
  • Around the World
  • The Cops & Carnival
  • Violence Eclipses Past Parades
  • Stay Safe and Have Fun

A New Home

The New York City West Indian American Day Carnival was birthed in the 1920s by Caribbean immigrants eager to continue their celebratory pre-Lent traditions. By the mid-1940s, the celebrations moved from private, indoor spaces to Seventh Avenue in Harlem, becoming a street festival held on Labor Day.

(Photo: Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

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