In its children and adult bands this year, the Brooklyn-based Cocoa Diamond Productions is celebrating “a toast to life” and paying homage to the Amerindian group, the Incas.
“Because we were primarily a children’s band – our kids band was created first – this years’ portrayal is ‘The Incas – Children of the Sun,’” said Trinidadian band leader Patti Ann Williams, in a Caribbean Life interview. “It has been created to pay homage to our ancient ancestors [who] inhabited our islands long before the colonization of the Europeans.”
Williams, who has been involved in mas production for more than 15 years, said that the adult band, produced for the first time this year, is called “Celebrate a Toast to Life.”
She said she name was created “because we wanted to give the masqueraders a nostalgic feeling wearing costumes that depict some of their favorite cocktails that are used to celebrate life’s greatest moments.”
She said the adult band comprises five sections — Plumeria Passion, Aviator Cocktail, Island Prime, Galaxy Cocktail and Birthday Cake Cocktail; while the the sections in the children’s band are: Illapa, Mamachocha, Inti, Mamaquilla and Viracocha.
Williams, who has been producing mas in the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s (WIADCA) parade for the past five years, said Cocoa Diamond Productions is expecting about 10-15 masqueraders in each section, with masqueraders from “the entire Caribbean,” as well as from South and Central America, England and the United States.
“We are a very diverse group,” she said, adding that “optimism runs high this year, and we are hoping to place or, if not, be absolutely sure that we leave an impression on the Parkway.
“Our masqueraders can expect a full experience — one of high energy; great music; fantastic, beautiful, colorful costumes; full breakfast and lunch served; full safety (high security); and an overall memorable parade experience,” Williams continued.
She said preparations are on schedule, adding that all distributions will be completed on time.
“The Diamond Crew is feverishly working to guarantee that all our masqueraders are satisfied and that their costumes fit,” said Williams, stating that masqueraders will sway to the beat of the band’s “sound engineers,” as well as “experienced DJs and performers.”
The mas camp is located at 5405 Church Ave., between East 54 and East 55 streets in Brooklyn. Williams can be reached at cocoa