With hands in the air, hips moving from side to side, eight-year-old Svaha Williams showed her Caribbean pride as the Grand Marshall of the Junior Carnival Day Parade that returned to the streets of Crown Heights last Saturday, after a two-year hiatus.
Dressed in a mermaid costume, the excited little girl, who traces her roots to Jamaica and Barbados, came with a message for her peers,“Do not throw your garbage on the earth, wait until you find a receptacle to dispose of it.” She was referring to her climate justice advocacy, a cause she embraced, participating in rallies from a very young age.
The parade kicked-off from the Carlos Lezama Archive and Caribbean Culture Center, a little bit late, but picked up momentum, moving along St. John’s Place, with scores of children, many who were born during the gap years. The little ones dazzled in exquisite costumes, masquerading to the rhythm of carnival music.
African Warriors was the first band to take flight up the street, with kids as young as two years old wearing magnificent creations designed from leopard print and accented with lots of feathers. Mass Production Unlimited, themed: Safari, showcased a mix of designs, while Sesame Flyers lit up the parade wearing gold tops paired with purple tutu skirts. Another section showcased toddlers and others in white and pink tutu outfits.
Arabian Knights with themed sections – Harlem Dancers, and Dame of the Camp massed under the 1199 Social Cultural Committee with riveting movement and display of creative costumes.
Others were Plantation Kids Takes Flight with Mango Tree Production and band leader Pauleen Loobie. The kids were dressed in exciting floral design, and a mix of colorful creations.
As Patrice Robert’s voice rang out with hit, “drink water and mind my business,” De Midas Mas’ — themed “then and now” king and queen showcased towering creations with scores of feathers, in pink and Gold, Yellow and Orange and Red and Black, for a magnificent mas.
The bands moved smoothly along the route with flags in the air being waved, as the music blared, and kids of Sharzell Productions, danced, to showcase their impressive costumes. The sections portrayed brilliant hues in orange, lime green, and blue.
Jump-up Productions presented “Sail Away” with stilt dancers, moving to the rhythm. The skill of the kids was mesmerizing. They performed for miles high up in the air as the infectious music blare, and spectators wave and cheer on the little ones, who moved into the Brooklyn Museum grounds for judging.
And despite only eight bands participated in the return of the Junior Carnival Parade after two years due to the pandemic, the pageantry, mas, and performance of the juniors, marked yet another historic Carnival in Brooklyn, a prelude to the return of the massive Labor Day on Eastern Parkway, and hopefully many more presentations at the historic parade that celebrated 55 years.