It’s finally Labor Day weekend. In addition to barbecues in Prospect Park and a well-earned day away from work, Brooklyn residents can look forward to the annual West Indies Day parade on Monday. The parade will dance its way down a two-mile-long route on Eastern Parkway, starting at Utica Avenue and ending at Grand Army Plaza right by Prospect Park. This larger parade follows Friday’s Junior Carnival, also a West Indian-themed parade but geared to the younger generation. Best of all, it starts at the civilized hour of 11 a.m., so no need to get up with the sun to catch the festivities.
There’s plenty going on Monday beyond watching parade participants in elaborate costumes show off their best dance moves as they make their way down Eastern Parkway. There will also be food, music and face painting for all to partake in. The end destination, the northern corner of Prospect Park, is full of cute little shops and cafes, so Brooklynites tired of the noise can retreat for a soothing cappuccino or walk a few blocks down to the Pavilion and catch an afternoon movie. Remember though, public transportation is your friend. There’s no parking along the parade route and the hordes of spectators coming along for the fun will quickly snatch up what parking can be found. The 2, 3, 4 or 5 trains all have stops near the parade route, and it will undoubtedly be easier to jump on a train than to try to find parking.