haitians labor day carnival
Carnival-goers celebrate their Haitian heritage on Eastern Parkway, in September 2018 celebration. Photo by Kerby Jean for The Haitian Times

In 2020, there were no Mas bands, no costumed dancers striding down Eastern Parkway for the Labor Day West Indian Carnival parade. Once again this year, the coronavirus pandemic is thwarting plans for one of the city’s largest cultural events.   

With just under a month left, West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) board member Lionel Balmir said plans for Labor Day weekend events are still being finalized. However, those plans will not involve the signature parade that has drawn thousands of people to Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights. 

“We’re not doing a parade, that’s strictly out of the question,” Balmir, said. “We’re not doing the parade because of the current situation with COVID increasing, and we’re just trying to be as careful as possible.” 

To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.

When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you. 

Join now or renew to get:
— Instant access to one-of-kind stories and special reports 
— Local news from our communities (especially New York and Florida)
— Profiles of Haitians at the top of their fields
— Downloadable lists and resources about Haitian culture 
— Membership merch, perks and special invitations 

First-time subscribers also receive a special welcome gift handmade in Haiti by expert artisans! Do it for the culture and support Black-owned businesses.

If you’re seeing this message but you’re already a subscriber, you can log in for immediate access to this story.

Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America fellow. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.