Sesame Flyers Carnival reaches ‘Destination’ on 40th anniversary

Group shot for the’ Carnival' section of Sesame Flyers Destination.
Group shot for the’ Carnival’ section of Sesame Flyers Destination.
Photo by Nelson A. King

In celebrating its 40th anniversary, perennial Band of the Year champions, the Brooklyn-based Sesame Flyers Carnival, says it has reached its “Destination” for this year’s West Indian American Day Carnival.

“The theme, ‘Destination’, is where we started and where we’re heading,” Trinidadian-born Administrative Assistant Simone Bass told Caribbean Life in an interview at the mas camp on Church Avenue in Brooklyn.

“Each section is part of Sesame’s journey and what it brings for Labor Day,” added Bass, one of Sesame Flyers Carnival’s dancers.

The four sections, comprising 40-50 masqueraders in each section, are: Carnival, Infinity, The Arrival and Destination.

Bass said each section, with children and adults — male and female — caters for the “curvy.”

Costumes for the ’Infinity' section of Destination.
Costumes for the ’Infinity’ section of Destination.Photo by Nelson A. King

“Some people are reserved,” she said. “With the ‘curvy’, you get to fit in and enjoy the festivity.”

Bass said last year’s production, “Tao — The Journey,” was “a good experience.”

“I saw a lot of improvements and learned from whatever was made.

“We also worked with the NYPD (New York Police Department) to ensure a safe carnival, so there’s no injury and our masqueraders are safe.”

Bass said Sesame Flyers Carnival is also “not just about carnival.”

'The Arrival' costume for the Sesame Flyers band Destination.
‘The Arrival’ costume for the Sesame Flyers band Destination.Photo by Nelson A. King

“There are different outreach programs — community works,” she said. “They’re all about building and helping the community.”

Last year, Trinidadian Executive Director Curtis Nelson disclosed that, in view of the skyrocketing costs of participating in the Caribbean Carnival in New York, Sesame Flyers International had invested $100,000 to assist other mas bands.

“It’s a labor of love,” he said. “A lot of mas bands are made up of artistes, designers — people in the entertainment industry. Everybody needs bail out.

“Sesame heard the cry,” Nelson added. “We convinced the bands, and we wrote proposals. Every band is struggling to put costumes on the road.

“Hopefully, we can get that messaging across and get the city to invest in the carnival,” he continued. “There’s need to have some entity to get finance on the ground.”

This manequin display a ‘Destination' costume.
This manequin display a ‘Destination’ costume.Photo by Nelson A. King

Thus, Nelson said Sesame Flyers Carnival has “cut down on the amount of sections (in order) to assist other bands.”

Sesame Carnival won Band of the Year in the West Indian American Day Carnival for 14 years – 12 years in a row. It was joint Band of the Year last year.

Masqueraders will this year sway to DJ Danny.

Sesame Carnival is located at 3510 Church Ave., Brooklyn.

For more information, call (718) 693-0500.