- Soca 2019! -

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Carnival 2019 was...


This Carnival was EPIC! (You know I had to say it😜!)  
For my 20th, I decided to only go with a costume that wowed me in every way. From the moment I saw it at EPIC Carnival's band launch, I was drawn to The Magician. Throughout all the launches, I kept going back to the beautifully decorated monokini and knew it was for me.  When meeting T.J. Williams, I was impressed with his thoughtfulness, talent, and non-profit Home Grown. If you aren't familiar, do check out their initiative to preserve & promote Caribbean culture. 


I registered in person in May, and no fuss pick up was on July 30. 
I was excited to get my costume what I considered early. The Magician volunteers and T.J. were friendly and happily showed me all pieces of my costume and explained everything included in the bag, like the new wristbands. It was a relaxed atmosphere. 
Whole Hearted Food was set up with the section giving out samples of and selling Amped Hydrate, a natural sports drink mix for hydration. Perfect in the humidity on parade day!


EPIC advertised some makeup artists who were taking appointments on site, so I was glad to get Carnival eyes done with Radiance is Bliss. Rochelle was so nice, and understood my squeamishness with my eyes. (Bad experiences at the optometrists. 😬) So she let me apply mascara and eye liner. Her glittery eye shadows lasted all day. Thank you Rochelle! 



While I was at this appointment, Trini-in-Toronto was playing Jab Jab on stage with Cajuca Mas Arts
πŸ“Ή Ol' Time Carnival - Mama Dis Is Mas!  










Love this cute costume, The Artist.  


 


There was breakfast (bake & salt fish, croissants, pb&j, tea & coffee) to wake us up at 9:30. Then a Poptails bar (I had Rum Punch, so yummy, and ideal in the heat!) and bevvies were on the road. As we were headed for the lunch stop, Trini-in-Toronto and I went down to the lake, then back towards judging.   






















Approaching the stage. 



Lots of rhinestone fishnets.   








Our leader being interviewed by CBC. πŸ‘



The elevated stage was the best thing about this Carnival, as I'm sure many of you will agree. To see the sections ahead of you on stage, and then wait for your section to be called, really gets you going, into the Carnival spirit. See Trini-in-Toronto's post of his stage shots, which were wonderful. They really captured what it feels like to play mas. Our time didn't feel rushed, The Magician was the last section for EPIC, so maybe we had a bit longer.   
The elevated stage was a missing element in Toronto Carnival, and I know masqueraders hope it wasn't a one time thing.









Finished the stage!

I feel for masqueraders in the big bands that were waiting for hours to get to the stage, and then were overrun with stormers. The bands didn't have their full numbers, many people left in frustration. 
Why is it that someone always must suffer in this parade? 
Either historically, the small bands, or this time, the big bands. 
And a 3 hour gap in the parade is unacceptable! How did that even happen?  






Sneakers are definitely the preferred choice in footwear for Toronto Carnival. With the exception of this first cute pair, because they're already glittery and Carnival ready, there's no need for decoration, which is what I like!  








I felt comfortable playing in EPIC, everyone was welcoming and having nothing but fun on the road. The vibes in a smaller band are different, there's an ease about the day, no stress, an overall calm feeling. 
In speaking with Stretch beforehand and during the parade, I was frankly surprised and thrilled that everything he said would happen at certain times did happen on time. 
I know we were fortunate to be second to judging. 
My wish for all masqueraders is that they have a stress free Carnival, from start (complete costume) to finish (stage & stormer free). 







This was the Dream Carnival  costume, Chimera, I liked, so I was glad I spotted her. 







































   

We did attempt to go to Wind Down, but security wouldn't let someone in with his flask. πŸ˜‘


The situation with Revellers approaching judging. We were to the left, on the other side of the fence. So we made our way home. 



Back at the car.


20 Caribana's, done!

How was your time on the road?  
I know several of you were spectators this year - what did you think? 

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