Junior bands set exciting tone for Eastern Parkway

Grandma Erica Greenidge with Brooke-Lynne in costume and her other grandkids.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Trinidadian-born, Erica Greenidge hurried along Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn, anxious and excited at the same time to get her costume-clad granddaughter Brooke-Lynn to the starting point of the Junior Carnival Parade on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Decked out in a multi-colored costume and matching make-up, Brooke-Lynne was on her way to revel in Sesame Flyers mas band for the ninth year, carrying on the tradition passed on to her since she was one-year old.

“She loves it. We are Trinidadians and we impose our culture on our children. My son played mas in this very carnival parade and I feel like I am back in Trinidad with Peter Minshall all over again. We are Trini revelers, and I want everyone to know that the Trinidad culture is alive and growing,” said Greenidge who told Caribbean Life that Brooke-Lynne was representing both her Trinidad and Jamaican ancestry.

Waiting to join the same band was little Saniyah Gray, standing next to her mother Ornella, also of Trinidad heritage. Ornella was passing down the culture to her daughter, the same way her dad taught her to play mas.

“I reveled with Borokeet and Sesame Flyers from one-year old,” said Ornella who enjoys the festivities, food and the spirit of the carnival season. “I tell Saniyah to get on stage, dance, and enjoy the culture,” she added.

These two kids were among thousands who took to the streets and played mas like seasoned revelers. Every costume was just as spectacular, colorful and creative.

The beautiful costumes lit up the streets of Crown Heights, in a kaleidoscope of tropical color, much to the delight of other kids who lined the streets, and waved flags as their peers jumped and whined-down during more than three hours of enjoyment at the carnival presentation.

The parade began at Kingston and St. Johns avenues near the home of the late Carlos Lezama, former West Indian American Day Carnival president and co-founder of the Brooklyn carnival.

The pageantry that travelled along Franklin Avenue, on to President Street, and into the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum grounds, is a years-old event.

Despite the late start, and a bit of chill, and high wind in the air, the ‘teens’, ‘tweens’, and ‘toddlers’, showed passion, drive and determination for the Caribbean culture. Many pulled massive Queen and King pieces that had to be kept under control because of the gust along the route.

A WIADCA official confirmed that 42 bands invaded the streets. From Carican Costumes — Bright Africa, that showcased bolt pieces, to Inspired By Zoe, a showcased of beautiful costumes designed with hundreds of sunflower and roses.

As the Soca songs “Champion,” followed by “Jump and Wave,” “Raise Your Hand In the Air” penetrated the air, accompanied by the DeeJay’ scream, pump the revelers up for the stage.

This command fueled the young revelers who went wild. The youngsters waved flags, bounced and reveled to the infectious music.

The early morning parade was high-octane showcasing “Children of Peace” by Charlize Horizon, Kaiso International — “Children of The Wild,” Jubilee — “Taste the Tropics” rainbow revelry, Hello Africa — “Vision in Motion,” and Diamond Entertainment and Crew — “A Journey Through Egypt.”

The skillful creations were not lost on the masqueraders who put on a great presentation. Like 12-year-old Niome Williams of “Tropical Fete,” to Chyna 16, and Kyeorah 16, of “D’Midas.”

Antoine International’s “Mamma This is Mas,” “Feets of Rhythm Kids,” “Fuezion Flavours Mas,” “Karibbean Island Pulse Kids,” and many others represented their culture with high energy.

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