Despite the official cancellation of the West Indian Labor Day Parade, many gathered in various parts of Brooklyn to celebrate the annual event. Traditionally, J’ouvert — the “welcoming of dawn” party that takes place the night before carnival — has kickstarted the celebration of Caribbean cultures that make up the fabric of the borough. 

In Flatbush, Haitians joined with diaspora of other Caribbean nations to dance their way through Crown Heights during the early hours of Sept. 6. Over a 3-hour period, Plezi Rara, a Brooklyn-based rara music group, led the revelers as they navigated from Prospect Park to Eastern Parkway, in Crown Heights and back.

The southwest section of Prospect Park was the starting point of the 3-hour unofficial parade through Crown Heights. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March.
Plezi Rara, a Brooklyn-based rara band, played throughout the parade. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March.
The Haitian flag was on display in various forms throughout the parade, including on a motorbike rider. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March.
Police presence increased once the group moved from Prospect Park to Flatbush Ave. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March.
Plezi Rara band members in Crown Heights. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March.
A man tries to take a photo of what seemed to be an NYPD helicopter hovering over the crowd while another takes a selfie. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March.
A pair enjoys a few moments of dancing. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March.
After three hours, the group approached Prospect Park once more. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March.
NYPD officers escorted the revelers. Here, police officers appear in the background as the revelers returned to Prospect Park at around 5 a.m. Sept. 6, 2021. Photo by Leonardo March

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