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Original Blackfoot Mas Camp

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Storefront where costumes are made for the West-Indian Day Parade

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : East Flastbush
Commercial, Gathering Place

Place Matters Profile

Walking up and down the streets of Crown Heights, Brooklyn in late summer, one can pass dozens of lots and storefronts that have become home to the many "mas camps" in various stages of preparation for the West Indian-American Day Carnival held over Labor Day weekend. On Church Street alone, the names stand out--"Mango Tree Productions Mas Camp," "Nutmeg Mas Camp," "Veggie Castle Mas Camp," "Klub Carnival," and the "Original Blackfoot Mas Camp"--just to name a few. "Mas" (short for "masquerade") camps produce the costumes, which are an integral part of the Carnival celebration and parade. The parade, held on Eastern Parkway, is the City's largest, attracting two million people and bringing in $300 million in revenue. The parade is modeled after the Carnival in Trinidad, the roots of which are in the pre-Lenten festivities usually held in January or February. These traditions were brought to Trinidad by white planters,...

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On The Web Overview of 2003's Mas Camps


Brian Herbert

A lot of neighborhood interaction--kids play here, community members stop by to help with costumes (this volunteer force is necessary). There is space for parking so people can relax while buying costumes. They hope to be one of the first camps to own (not rent) soon. They make costumes on site.

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