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West Indians celebrate culture at annual parade
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Brooklyn's West Indian community showed up in full force Monday at the 33rd annual West Indian American Day Carnival Parade, despite the heat and a forecast of rain.
The festivities kicked off at about 11 a.m. with the appearance of the grand marshal, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was accompanied by his friend Judith Nathan. Though greeted by many boos, the mayor smiled, shook hands, and continued leading the parade.
Many of the women and girls wore warrior-like costumes, such as leotards adorned with gold- or silver-toned faux armor and boots. Many carried the flags of their country. Most of the men and boys rode on trucks with steel drum or reggae bands, the loudspeakers shaking the ground with each bass note. Others dressed as flowers, butterflies with large, brilliant wings, and folklore characters in elaborate costumes, walking on stilts.
No one protested against the ban on alcoholic beverages, imposed after the incident in Central Park during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in June. After that incident, nearly 60 women told police a mob of men had groped them or tore their clothes off after the parade ended.
Congressman Major Owens and his challenger for the Democratic primary, Councilwoman Una Clarke, both walked in the parade and praised the "grass roots" efforts it displayed. The Rev. Al Sharpton also put in an appearance, as did Senator Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
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