On Fri. Aug. 23, 2013, Church Avenue’s businesses launched a two-week sales period with a tribute to the West Indian American Day Parade and welcomed costumed models proudly showing off their parade outfits.
Colorful balloons and inflatable palm trees adorned the avenue as shoppers scooped up sales circulars and bright yellow paper fans, and heads turned and crowds quickly gathered as models in traditional Haitian attire and elaborate Carnival costumes posed with shoppers along the avenue and inside shops.
Several mas camps (creators of the parade costumes), including Antoine International, Ayiti Dous Inc., D’ Midas International, Devine Mas Camp, Evolution Mas, and Phoenix Refined were represented by models adorned in the elaborate costumes they wll be wearing to the parade. Freelance photographer, Travis Dubreuil, photographed the models in various stores along Church Avenue for the BID’s annual wall calendar, which will be given out for free in late November.
Additional models ranged from employees of Flatbush-based social service agency, CAMBA, to Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Sandra Chapman; the Borough President’s Caribbean Liaison, Sophia Jones; and Miss Manchester (Jamaica) Festival Queen taking a break from her job at the BID’s newest Caribbean restaurant, Richie Rich.
The event was the launch of a year-long celebration of the Caribbean all along Church Avenue from Flatbush to Coney Island avenues, which will include several additional BID-wide sales periods, streetlight banners, and a Caribbean music festival in June 2014. The BID attracts Caribbean shoppers from as far as Canada who come specifically to shop at Church Avenue’s stores.
The event was organized with assistance from parade organizer (WIADCA), the Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), and the Caribbean Global Business Network and thanks to funding from the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services’ Avenue NYC program.