Thousands pack Crown Heights to celebrate West Indian Day parade [PHOTOS]
Eastern Parkway transformed into a Caribbean party Monday as thousands of revelers took part in the 46th Annual West Indian-American Day Parade.
The usual crowds of community Caribbean groups were joined by a who's who of politicians, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Anthony Weiner, Bill de Blasio, Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer, trying to woo voters with the primaries looming on Sept. 10.
Some rode on their own floats, like Weiner, while the rest hit the ground walking, shaking hands and greeting revelers face to face.
Adolfo Carrion, who is running for mayor as an independent, said too many New Yorkers, especially minorities, feel disconnected from the candidates and that hurts the democratic process.
"People have to get involved and we have an obligation to come out," he said.
Paradegoers said they enjoyed the energy and atmosphere of the event, which spanned from Schenectady to Flatbush avenues.
"You've got a whole bunch of people celebrating Jamaica and the islands, it's always incredible," said Ray McIntryre, 38, a Jamaica native who lives in Crown Heights.
Diane Campell, 29, a health aide from Marine Park whose family hails from the island of St. Vincent, said it was fun seeing a piece of her heritage so close to home.
"It's nice to see the costumes and music. It's also great that everyone is experiencing this culture," she said.
Kevin McCollum, 38, who was visiting New York with his wife from Scotland, agreed. The tourist said he rarely gets to see parades in his hometown, let alone ones that have a huge showing of an outside culture.
"It's great to see so much diversity here," he said.