‘Controversial Carnival Festival’ for Belmont Kids

Deborah James, 9, portrays “Cheyenne Tribe.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

Belmont Kids Connection is hoping to win the Small Bands category for children for the third successive year with a “Controversial Carnival Festival,” according to associate band leader Wendell Jack.

Jack, who hails from Belmont, Port-of-Spain, in Trinidad and Tobago, told Caribbean Life that his mas camp, located in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, thrives in producing the best mas in the Caribbean festival.

“Since we’re the defending champions, we expect to look better,” he said. “But everything depends on the judges.”

He said the band also won the King and Queen of the Small Bands last year.

Produced by band leader and designer Lystra James, “Controversial Carnival Festival” comprises four mixed sections: Two sailors and one Mexican and Cheyenne Tribe.

James said the band will be complemented with a dance group of 30 young ladies, 14-15 years old, led by Aliyah, 15.

The outfit is also participating in the J’ouvert competition in the pre-dawn hours before carnival day, said Jack, who heads that section.

Called the same name as the Children’s band, the J’ouvert band comprises 150-200 masqueraders in five, mixed – children and adults, male and female – sections, Jack said.

He said the sections are: Lantern Festival, A Day at the Beach (Hawaii), Sangenario Festival (Mexican), Sailor’s Fantasy and Apache (Indian).

Jack said his J’ouvert band, the defending champions, is also hoping to repeat last year’s performance in which “we took everything for children.”

Both the children’s and J’ouvert bands are located at 9602 Farragut Rd., corner of East 96th Street in Canarsie, Brooklyn.

For more information, contact Jack at (646) 623-3102.

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