Inspired by Zoe will present “Enhanced Garden” for the West Indian-American Carnival this Labor Day weekend, because of its uniqueness, according to band leader Assatu Rodriguez.
“We wanted to go with ‘Enhanced Garden’ because, unlike an ordinary garden, the details being put into our creation is unique, improved, flawless — details of a garden,” Rodriquez, who was born in Brooklyn to Trinidadian parents, told Caribbean Life.
“Our Junior Queen costume on the road will leave an impact on those watching,” she added.
Rodriguez said “Enhanced Garden” comprises three sections, with 25 masqueraders in each section: Dancing Garden, Fairy in the Garden and Green in the Garden.
She said the majority are masqueraders are Haitian, Jamaican and Trinidadian.
“This year, we hope to bring a carnival to the stage,” Rodriguez said. “We usually do a dance routine. However, this year, we would let our mas dance and make a statement.
“This year is our first time in doing feathers,” she added. “So, the masqueraders are excited.”
Rodriguez said preparation is “going well.”
“We have a great support system, and one of the best wire benders/band leaders Edwin Worrell (a Trinidadian) is on our team.”
Rodriguez said Inspired by Zoe was named after her 12-year-old daughter, who is her “inspiration and has inspired me to create custom clothes for children when she was nine months old.”
The band leader said she also began teaching children “how to create their own production and decided to take my first shot at participating in Kiddies Carnival, when my daughter was three.”
Shortly after placing third in 2015, Rodriguez said she decided to “take mas more serious,” opening Inspired by Zoe Studios throughout Brooklyn, “where we provide childcare and a cultural/STEAM curriculum to influence children.”
Over the years, Rodriguez said the band has been sustained with “person funds that are generated.
“Unfortunately, we never had sponsors,” she said. “We do it for the culture.”
Rodriguez said masqueraders will sway to soca vibes from King Mix, Selector Sour DJ Smoove and Mighty Punisher — “incredible DJs who turn up the energy on the road.
“After the parade, we party on our way back to the camp,” she said. “The children and families look forward to these moments.”
The mas camp is located at 369 East, 98th St., near Legion Street, in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
You can reach Rodriguez at (347) 282-4955, or email at [email protected].