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  • It's 4:30 a.m. on Monday morning.

    A few thousand humans mill about in the darkness, attending a flotilla of trucks lined at the entrance to Prospect Park. Each truck hauls a cab of drummers and steel pans.

    One by one, the musicians come to life.

    In the cover of darkness, the crowd presses forward, keeping pace with the slow roll of each truck. Stripped down and costumed up, the dancers' bodies synch with the throbbing beats. Minds reel from intoxication. Spirits run free in bacchanal.

    This is J'Ouvert. Day break. The opening cry of West Indian Carnival that, come daylight, will overtake all of central Brooklyn.
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