All the sights and sounds of the West Indies filled the streets of Brooklyn Monday for the 45th annual West Indian American Day Parade and Carnival.
About two million people lined the route along Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights and many participants wore elaborate feathered costumes and danced for up to three hours straight.
Crowds were playing music, dancing and waving flags of Caribbean nations before the parade even started and some onlookers have been partying since Sunday night.
"I think it's fun. Everybody should do it at least once," said a carnival dancer sporting a feathered headdress.
"It's the freedom of just being able to dance down the street," said another carnival participant sporting a headdress.
Vendors were selling traditional West Indian food, including jerk chicken, oxtail, curry goat and roti.
"I'm having a great time. My family is from the Caribbean, this is part of our heritage. I have a great year, every year," said Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams.
"I've never seen the parade. I feel like it's going to be an exciting parade. I hear there's going to be costumes, floats. I've never been to something this big," said the current Miss Jamaica, Deanna Robins.
This year's theme was "Unity, History and Culture," as 2012 marks 50 years of independence for two West Indian nations, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
For more information, visit www.wiadcacarnival.org.