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West Indian Day Parade Kicks Off In Brooklyn Despite Violent Morning

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A morning a violence did not stop the West Indian Day Parade from stepping off in Brooklyn.

Eastern Parkway was full of the sights, sounds and colors of the Caribbean as the West Indian Day Parade kicked off at 11 a.m. Monday.

As CBS2's Janelle Burrell reported, the event brought he spice and flair of the Caribbean to Brooklyn.

The heart of Brooklyn beat to the sound of calypso and reggae, as dancers donned in elaborate costumes made their way along the parade route in one of the largest events outside of the Caribbean celebrating the West Indian culture and tradition.

West Indian Day Parade Kicks Off In Brooklyn Despite Violent Morning

"I'm from Jamaica. My kids were born here and have never been there before, so this is a taste of their culture to have the experience and get a feel of what the Caribbean is like," one paradegoer said.

Bob Kunst has traveled from Miami for the parade for the last 26 years to get a front-row seat for the show.

"I'm 73 and still carrying on," Kunst said. "I'm telling you, it's therapy."

The celebration also featured West Indian cuisine including salt fish -- the national dish of Jamaica -- boiled banana and curry chicken.

As many as 2 million people were expected to line the 2.5-mile parade route. The spirited tribute to West Indian heritage is a Labor Day tradition that dates back to the 1930s.

The celebration was marred by violence during pre-parade festivities. One person was killed, and many others injured, including an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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