Floats carrying Jamaican dancers, party-goers and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz whizzed by a stream of steel pan bands and feathered dancers, while side street vendors grilled up their best curry chicken and served fruity drinks.
Jillian Rose, co-founder of the Brooklyn-based Pineapple Chillers, sets up her Guyanese piña colada stand once a year to raise funds to help feed hungry children and support lupus programs in the city.
“We want to share our culture here with New York,” Rose said. “We enjoy the culture so we wanted to contribute some of our traditional recipes to the fair.”
Rose and Sophia Small-Warner were selling non-alcoholic Caribbean drinks, served in a hollowed out pineapple, and raise nearly $4,000 at each year at the festival.
“One day we sold almost 500 pineapples,” she said.
Public Advocate candidate Reshma Saujani marched behind comptroller candidate Scott Stringer and in front of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s team in the parade.
“We’re having an awesome time,” Saujani said. “We think people are really with us, they’ve seen our TV ads and I think they’re starting to make their decision.”
Others en route for September 10 primaries included mayoral candidates John Liu and Christine Quinn, public advocate candidate Daniel Squadron and many more.
Carmen Reyes, a freelance writer from the neighborhood, comes out to the festival every year to enjoy the culture.
“I think the creativity with the costumes is just amazing,” she said. “Families come out from all over, and it’s just a good time in Brooklyn.