New York’s Caribbean J’Ouvert festival has been moved from pre-dawn hours to daylight hours just before the massive West Indian American Day Carnival Parade on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway gets underway, organizers say.
Organizers, hoping for a fresh start at this year’s J’Ouvert celebrations, have a new weapon – sunlight – against gangs and gun violence that have plagued the annual festival in Brooklyn on the first Monday in September, Labor Day, according to New York’s Daily News.
The paper said on Thursday that officials are planning to hold the Labor Day festival during daylight hours for the first time.
Traditionally, J’Ouvert begins at about 2 am, but the new hours for the permitted procession will start at 6 am and end at 11 am, Trinidadian Yvette Rennie, president of J’Ouvert City, organizers of the annual Caribbean celebration, told the Daily News.
Rennie, according to the Daily News, said the change is being made specifically to stop the violence and is “a combination of all our concerns, because we are extremely concerned that darkness is when everything (bad) happens.”
Last year, two people were killed during the overnight revelry, despite an increased New York Police Department (NYPD) presence, lighting and other measures that were adopted, the Daily News said.
In 2015, it said the celebration of the Caribbean culture was marred by bloodshed when 43-year-old Carey Gabay, a Jamaican-American Harvard-educated lawyer and aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, was caught in gang members’ crossfire and fatally wounded near the parade route.
J’Ouvert, which means “daybreak,” precedes Brooklyn’s West Indian American Day Carnival Parade, but is not affiliated with it, the Daily News said.
It said the notion to change the time was developed through…