City rollicks with Trinidadian culture, color
Children kick off Boston Carnival
Between the heat and the brilliant costumes - sequins, feathers, and spandex in every shade of orange, pink, gold - Franklin Park yesterday could almost have passed for Port of Spain.
The weeklong activities of Boston Carnival - a rendition of the epic fete that takes place yearly in Trinidad & Tobago - kicked off in Dorchester’s White Stadium yesterday with Kiddies Carnival, a children-only march with music and grand costumes.
This is the highlight of the year for many children who live in Dorchester and whose families proudly hail from the Caribbean, said Carol Leggett, the carnival’s public relations officer.
“For the community, it’s a big to-do, and it signifies to people that it’s the end of the summer,’’ Leggett said.
More festivities come later in the week: On Thursday, costumes are put on display for an up-close look at the “King and Queen Show.’’ And on Saturday, revelers gather at 5 a.m. to experience Jouvert, a rollicking street party, and march in the parade that starts on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Roxbury.
Yesterday’s Kiddies Carnival, which was the 38th year of the event, featured children playing steelpan and marching around a track to the music in elaborate costumes. Some wore sequined leotards and carried batons. Other children - boys and girls who competed to win the carnival’s biggest prizes - wore 10-foot-tall masquerade-like costumes that mimic the plumage on a peacock, with huge feathers and bright, billowing fabric.
The carnival groups work year-round to create impressive costumes that attempt to outdo their creations from the year before.
“From carnival to carnival, they never stop,’’ Leggett said.
And no age is too young to start “playing mas,’’ or marching in the parade.
One child, dressed from head to toe in silver sequins, was a star of the parade - even if she was not yet quite old enough to walk.
Martine Powers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.