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Young masqueraders hold their flags while parading along President Street in the Kiddies Mac Band Carnival on Saturday, September 2, 2023. Photo by Macollvie J. Neel for The Haitian Times

BROOKLYN—About 20 junior mas camps represented Caribbean culture and heritage in full regalia Saturday during the 2023 West Indian American Day Carnival’s week of festivities, drawing Haitians from near and far and hyping up festival goers ahead of Monday’s signature Labor Day parade along Eastern Parkway. 

Buoyed by the sound of steel pans, top charting hits like Rema’s “Calm Down” and bountiful sunshine, thousands in the Kiddies Mas Bands set off from Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place midday. For two hours, they wound their way through select streets in Crown Heights, marching and whining to the music of their mas camp’s DJ, many with beverages and snacks in hand.


More than 20 junior mas camps, with many a Haitian reveler among the groups, represented in full regalia Saturday during the 2023 West Indian American Day Carnival, ahead of Monday’s featured parade on Eastern Parkway.

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Macollvie J. Neel, a writer and communications consultant, serves as executive editor of The Haitian Times. She is the founder of Comms Maven LLC, a consultancy that helps mission-driven professionals and organizations tell their stories in workplaces and media spaces.