In its inaugural portrayal this year in the West Indian Day Carnival Parade on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway, Branches & Associates is portraying “Carnival is Color.”
“Usually, I play for T&T Boys, but, this year, I decided to go on my own, because mas is a thing for people to enjoy themselves — to bring cheaper costumes to the masqueraders,” band leader Trinidadian, Edwin Worrell told Caribbean Life in an interview at the mas camp at 369 East, 98th St., between Riverdale Avenue and Legion Street, in Brooklyn.
“This is a COVID season; you can’t run down a costume prize, and costume prize is ridiculous,” he added, disclosing that his band comprises nine sections, male and female, in the medium size category.
Worrell said he expects at least 36 masqueraders in each section: Sunset, Emerald, Purity, Innocence, Royalty, Fusion, Explosion, Seduction and Colors of the Band.
“The mas today is really getting out of hand, because of the nakedness,” he said. “We’re trying our best to show that you come with a costume and feel comfortable. A lot of people don’t care. We’re coming with a difference.
“This is my passion, this is my love,” added Worrell, whose band will participate next year in Trinidad and Tobago Carnival for the 25th successive year. “I’m doing it to show the culture of all the different masses in the Caribbean.
“We’re a band with a difference,” he stressed. “When you go out there (on Eastern Parkway), you look nice.”
Haitian American Kathline St. Fleur, who had played with T&T Boys two Labor Days before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, said she will be “wild and free to play this Labor Day” in portraying Sunset.
“First, I was shy,” she said. “But, once on the Parkway, everybody’s performing – the good music, the food, the costume, bright colors, sexy costumes.”
On Labor Day, masqueraders will sway to the rhythms of DJ Shawn, who hails from St. Andrew’s, Grenada.
“I’ll be mixing well,” he said. “Lots of great things, excitement!”
Branches and Associates can be reached at (646) 867-5421; (347) 582-7888; or on WhatsApp (868) 304-4912.