CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 21, 2009: Former U.S. Secretary of State and retired Army General, Colin Luther Powell, has been named among the 2009 grand marshals of the New York West Indian Day Carnival.
Spokeswoman of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Jean Alexander, told CWNN last night that Powell will not only serve as the grand marshal of the September 7th Labor Day event, but is also set to attend with his children and grandchildren.
The Bronx-born, Caribbean-American Powell will join Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, New York State Governor David A. Paterson, New York State Senator, John Sampson, CEO of Moet Hennessy USA, Mark Cornell and Joseph J. Esposito, NYPD Chief of the Department, as the 2009 grand marshals.
Powell was the 65th United States Secretary of State and the first black to serve in the post under President George W. Bush. During his military career, Powell also served as National Security Advisor (1987–1989), as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army Forces Command (1989) and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993), holding the latter position during the Gulf War. He was the first, and so far the only, African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The news comes as Governor Patterson yesterday pledged a $250,00 contribution from the state to offset expenses for this year`s carnival, which draws over three million people annually to Brooklyn`s Eastern Parkway.
The 42nd annual festival will commence with events and live concerts on September 3rd at the Brooklyn Museum grounds and culminate on Monday September 7th, with the renowned Labor Day Carnival Parade.
This year WIADCA joins with the American Cancer Society and the US Census Bureau with the theme `Jump for the Cure, Jump Up and be Counted` in an effort to highlight the importance of regular cancer screenings and Census tracking in the Caribbean community.
`I am committed to harnessing the titanic power of the millions of people on Eastern Parkway by putting the spotlight on important causes in our community` says WIADCA`s President, Yolanda Lezama-Clark.
WIADCA is also teaming up with Carib ID, the movement founded by Felicia Persaud, to urge Caribbean nationals to fill out the 2010 Census forms and write in their country of origin under question 9.
This year`s Census push comes months after Congresswoman Clarke and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand, answered CaribID`s call and introduced the Caribbean Count bill in the House to urge for a Caribbean origins category on future Census forms.
Kicking off the carnival Labor Day weekend`s events will be the Clash of the Calypso Titans on Thursday September 3rd. Also slated for a jam-packed weekend are performances by some of the Caribbean`s most exciting Soca & Kaiso super-stars from many of the Islands, alongside younger calypsonians, steelband panorama competition, junior carnival and king & queen of the bands competition.
Visitors from all across the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and other international locations attend the five-day festival annually as part of their vacation–fuelling over $200 million into the City`s coffers. Last year, an estimated 100,000 individuals attended the live concerts events at Brooklyn Museum grounds.
For more on the 2009 canrnival, log on to http://www.wiadca.com/.