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Caribbean Pride On Full Display At Scaled-Down West Indian Day Parade In Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Brooklyn was celebrating Caribbean heritage Monday. Despite being largely postponed because of COVID, people turned out for the the West Indian Day Parade.

The parade ended just before noon, but the festivities outside the Brooklyn Museum continue, CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reported.

The costumes were vibrant. The music was powerful. Caribbean pride was on full display.

Many said they weren't going to let anything stop them from celebrating.

"It's part of my culture. It makes you feel good," one girl said.

"It means celebration and also means heart," said another.

Around 200 people, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, gathered in the morning. Thousands attend the event in a typical year.

"I feel great," another person said. "My favorite thing is that we all get to celebrate together and experience everyone's culture together. The music, the food, the culture, everything."

This year, select groups marched a few blocks down Eastern Parkway to the Brooklyn Museum for a press conference.

Organizers said it was important to not cancel the event entirely. Instead, they opted for several small, in-person and virtual events.

"Our community was yearning to do something. We wanted to make some sort of a representation on the parkway. Don't forget, we're here. We're here to stay," said Michelle Gibbs from the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.

J'ouvert celebrations were also canceled this year. The annual event typically starts before dawn on Labor Day and also celebrates Caribbean culture through music, food, history and people.

Overnight, hundreds marched through Brooklyn anyway.

Back on the parade route, people were already looking forward to next year.

"2022, stay tuned. We will be back on Eastern Parkway," said Hercules Reid from the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.

Monday's events at the Brooklyn Museum go until about 6 p.m. People are encouraged to watch online.

CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.

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