Fabric is being sewed and the jewels are being glued. Costume designers are working late each night preparing for the 52nd annual West Indian American Day Parade.
"It's just a feeling that you get that makes you want to be here,” said costume designer Jasmine Hawkes.
That sense of pride shared by the more than million revelers who line Eastern Parkway every Labor Day. 6-year-old twins Jazzelle and Arielle are practicing for the dance, music and costume competitions at the end of the parade route outside the Brooklyn Museum. The twins have been competing since they were just three years ago.
"I didn't know if I was going to mess up. Then I was like OK, I got this and I went on stage and I rocked it,” said Arielle Kafando.
They're dancing with the Sesame Flyers International band, which has participated in all the pageantry of the parade for 35 years.
"Labor Day on the parkway there is whining and dancing. We do that too. But there's also a cultural history behind it like why carnival started. It starts back with our ancestors in Africa. So we bring that to the road,” said Persephone Dacosta, Cultural Director for Sesame Flyers International, Inc.
The celebration not only honors the past but organizers say it's a way to teach Caribbean traditions to future generations.
"It's all about community activation. Any community you go to the voice of the community resides in its culture, resides in its cuisine, resides in its music and resides in their neighborhoods. And if we lose that voice, we lose everything,” said Anne Rhea Smith, 1st V.P. of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.
The West Indian American Day Carnival Association says it's been using its social media platforms as a way to engage young people.
"We want the culture to continue so it's like each one, teach one. Hand down and bring up, to make sure the culture is sustained,” said Natalie Proctor, Co-Chair of the Volunteer Committee for the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.
The association is looking for volunteers to help the parade run smoothly.
"It's just a sense of accomplishment that we could bring our community together for day of fun. And it's not just a day, it's a whole season. So the season culminates with this huge spectacle on the parkway and you just feel really proud to be a part of something like that,” said Michelle Mathison, Development Director for Sesame Flyers International Inc.
This year's carnival theme is "Catch the Vibe" with festivities kicking off on Thursday August 29th.