NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio and his family dance at the 2014 West Indian American Day Carnival prior to his election in November 2014.
News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Fri. Sept. 3, 2015: For the 48th year, the sights, sounds and taste of the Caribbean will return to the streets of Brooklyn New York this weekend as the annual West Indian American Day Carnival, North America’s biggest street party, gets underway this weekend. This year, among the top grand marshals leading off the Parade on Labor Day Monday will be Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity, Trinidad-born Maxine Williams.
Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity, Trinidad-born Maxine Williams is a Grand Marshal at this year’s West Indian American Day Carnival.
Prior to Facebook, Williams served as the director of diversity for a global law firm. A graduate of Yale University, she received her law degree with first class honors from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. As an attorney, she has represented clients in criminal, civil and industrial courts in both her native Trinidad and in the United Kingdom at the Privy Council. She has worked with multiple international organizations on development and human rights issues and has had a parallel career as a broadcast journalist and on-air presenter.
In a recent USA Today article, Williams, one of three children raised by a single mother, remembered covering her head with a pillow to muffle the melodies of a small pan band so she could fall asleep during Carnival season.
This year, however, she will be a part of the action as the West Indians American Day Carnival Association welcomes her to the parade along with other grand marshals – Supreme Court Justice & Chairperson at the Municipal Credit Union (MCU) Sylvia G. Ash; Kenneth E. Mapp, Governor of the US Virgin Islands and Earl Phillips, Secretary/Treasurer/TWU Local 100.
On Monday, September 7th, the Caribbean cultural celebration, led by the Splendor of the Zulu Warriors from St. Thomas on the famed Eastern Parkway “cultural row” will get underway from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Some two million usually attend the events that feature mas bands, musicians and food galore – a Caribbean orgasm in one place.
However, the build up to the celebratory weekend began Thursday night as the Carnival kicked off with the uniquely themed Caribbean Freedom Festival featuring KES the Band among other top DJ’s and entertainers.
Today, Friday, September 4th at 10 a.m., WIADCA, the West Indian American Carnival Day Association, will present the annual Stay In School Concert and College Fair for teens and young adults. At 8 p.m. tonight, the popular Brass Fest concert will return, featuring Caribbean artists like Pressure Busspipe, Ravi B & Karma, Bunji Garlin, Soca diva Fay-Ann Lyons & the Asylum Vikings Band and Lyrikal among others.
On Saturday, September 5th at 9 a.m., it’s all about the kids and passing on the culture to the next generation as the Junior Caribbean Carnival Street Parade kicks off at Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place in Brooklyn.
At 8 p.m. Saturday night, the annual Steelband Panorama showcase featuring 11 of the best Steel Orchestras vying for the title of 2015 New York Panorama Champs gets underway.
On Sunday, September 6th at 6 p.m., its Dimanche Gras time with Calypso legends-the Mighty Sparrow, David Rudder, Swallow and Edwin Yearwood among others.
For those around the world who cannot be in Brooklyn, they can follow the action live at iriejamradio.com/wiadca/ as for the second year, Irie Jam Radio will live stream the Caribbean Carnival events.
Stream any individual event for the low price of $9.99 or purchase the entire 4-day package for $29.99.