Soca superstar honoured at NY parade
IN the 45 years since its inception the Trinidad-styled Weat Indian Labour Day parade held in Brooklyn, New York, by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), has become the most popular celebration of Caribbean culture in North America.
The parade attracts over three million people annually and is led each year by specially selected Grand Marshals such as General Colin Powell, the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, and even the present Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.
This year in acknowledgment of both Trinidad and Tobago’s and Jamaica’s golden 50th Independence anniversaries, Machel Montano was invited to stand as a grand marshal over the parade. This makes him the youngest person to have ever held that title.
Montano served alongside internationally acclaimed actor, singer, and social activist, Harry Belafonte, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Bloomberg who was this time around an honorary grand marshal.
WIADCA’s 2012 theme was “Caribbean History, Culture, and Unity”, which each of the Grand Marshals has, in their own unique way, been instrumental in promoting and supporting.
To be selected to represent his nation in this manner and also to lead what is without a doubt one of the greatest showing of Caribbean unity, along with the legendary icon, Harry Belafonte, and a Quinn whose work positively impacts the day to day lives of the Caribbean Diaspora in New York, was a humbling experience as well as a great honour for Montano.
In addition to the honour of grand mar-