1199 SEIU presents ‘Festivals’

Nelson A. King

After a year’s lay-off, 1199 SEIU Cultural Committee returns this year with “Festivals,” as it vies for a top spot in the medium-sized category in the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade on Labor Day on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.

Band leader Curtis Dyer told Caribbean Life that “Festivals” represents “a celebration of various festivals worldwide.”

“Being that we were unable to bring out mas in 2017, we look forward to re-establishing our name and reputation on the Parkway, and ensuring that our masqueraders have a great time,” he said.

Dyer said “Festivals” comprises five sections: Chimu (South America); Monarch Dancer (Hawaii); Venetian Carnivale (Venice); TnT Mas (Trinidad and Tobago); and Sepkis.

With the exception of Monarch Dancer and TnT Mas, which are reserved for male masqueraders, Dyer said females will play in all sections for an overall 195 masqueraders.

He said 35 masqueraders will play in Chimu; 45 in Monarch Dancer; 35 in Venetian Carnivale; 35 in Sepkis; and 45 in TnT Mas.

Dyer said preparations are “going great.

“We have a tremendous amount of support from our committee members and volunteers,” he said, adding that the band has done “very well in the past.”

In 2016, Dyer said 1199 SEIU placed first for medium junior band and the same ranking for medium adult band.

The band was formed in 2002 by “a group of staff and members in the union and various institutions, who felt there was a need for representation in the West Indian American Day Parade,” Dyer said.

He said masqueraders, this year, as in the past, “can expect to have an amazing experience on the road,” with DJ KSP Productions furnishing “the sound system and vibes on the road.”

Dyer said Clyde Bascombe and Lystra Sawney have collaborated with him in designing this year’s production.

The mas camp is located at 2255 Bedford Ave., between Erasmus Street and Snyder Avenue in Brooklyn.

The showroom telephone no. is (347) 601-3777; production (347) 240-5436; and emergencies (646) 673-6472.

Shaneekqua Menner portrays ” TnT Mas.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

More from Around NYC