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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Caribana wish list

With one band launch just one month away today, and most of the others following in May, it's got me thinking about what I'd like for Caribana 2K10...

Here in Toronto our needs for Caribana are different than in Trinidad for Carnival. Many Trinidad all inclusive bands provide 2 days of unlimited drinks, food, port-a-potties, resting vehicles, etc. on top of their premium costumes. So when you pay minimum $500 US, you're paying for much more than a costume.
While it's true a lot of Caribana masqueraders play mas in Hamilton and even Barrie, they really have a shorter one day experience.
When I first played mas 10 years ago, I paid $100. In 2009, $155.

I understand that prices have to increase due to inflation - but with that price increase, I'm expecting quality to also increase. I can say that fortunately costume quality has improved year after year. Since we're talking bikini mas here, I realize designs are limited. But still, try to impress us! Designers, challenge yourselves, step it up every year, source out different materials, bring out complimentary colours & showcase creative costumes.

So, since it's mainly about costumes, on the top of my wish list is an outstanding, breathtaking headpiece. BIG, bold, beautiful. True, there are some masqueraders who aren't into big headpieces, or they don't even wear one. But for me, it's not mas unless I've got a crowning glory on top of my head.

Next, and equally as important, is a real bra. I've played in a string bikini top (2008), and it was my most uncomfortable mas ever. The strings dug into my shoulders, leaving indents. Yes, bruised for days. Very painful. Since the top was nicely decorated, and I figured I paid for this(!), I actually wore it again for Hamilton & Barrie. Yep, my craziness. But that's nothing, remind me to tell you what I wore at Caribana 2000... Anyway, real bras look much better than thin spandex. They give those of us who need it proper support. In 2007 the padded push up bra was fantastic (Water Lilies), and last year's La Senza bra worked quite well (Tembu Warriors).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When it comes to the waistband, the problem with that flimsy plastic that's the norm is, it rips, tears, breaks! The best waistband I wore was in 2008 (Anne Bonny). It was made of a strong material, and there was no way it was going to tear. So I know a stronger stylish material/cloth can be used. Oh, the best bottoms I had were American Apparel boy shorts, also Anne Bonny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Section leaders/designers, if you're significantly changing any part of the costume, communicate that, let your masqueraders know. You've got our email addresses, phone numbers, and many sections even have their own facebook groups.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah yes, security. Whether it's rope pullers or a plastic fence, it should be apparent that bands need to provide some security. The barriers just haven't been cutting it. Wouldn't it be ideal if TO could do like NYC & have an army of cops along the route? But that's not happening. I suppose it's claustrophobia, because I hate feeling enclosed by stormers with no easy exit. It's not safe, that crush of people, and accidents always happen. Besides, they shouldn't be in the band anyway. (They didn't pay for this!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Finally, provide food, water, juice & pop, & I'm good to go.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                What's on your wish list masqueraders?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anonymous said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Karabana, as always, you hit the nail on the head! Thank you for this post. Everything you listed I would love to see for Caribana this year. Another thing I'd like to see are section leaders offer more options for women of different sizes. Maybe I don't want to wear a tankini or a bikini top. How about offering a corset? I'll pay the higher price if it means I'm going to be more comfortable on Caribana day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jena said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                best waistband and best bottoms with the worst top. Interesting. In my experience if you go to the mas camp or talk to the section leader you can get what you want for a price. I have never had a problem getting what I want with CNz since day one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Trini-in-Toronto said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry, I accidently deleted that last comment, if you want to post again, thats fine, I'm not trying to censor you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                elsa said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What about costumes for the plus size ladies. The band leader or section leader will promise you the world just to get your money, and when its time to collect your costume you will get something entirely different. I challenge any section leader to design a beautiful sexy plus size costume for us. Remember not everyone will have a coco-cola bottle shape. Thanks for this post, you said alot of things that is on my mind. The band leader or section leader got to come good this year or else my money will be jumping up in my pocket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anonymous said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Getting what I paid for would be great for starters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anonymous said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The stormers are always the biggest problem for me every year. I cannot stand these little children manuevering their way in to push me out of the way. I actually paid for a good time, you move out of the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Karabana said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks! Yes Jena, my '08 costume had some plusses, incl. the gorgeous headpiece, one of my faves... but the string bikini top was a minus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                To all Anonymous commentors, please sign off your comment with some name if you don't want to create a username. I don't want to have to not allow anonymous comments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                dianne said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have been playing mas since the seventies.I love meh mas and look forward whenever I can take part.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I appreciate the hard work that bandleaders put into the making of their bands. You have to be behind the scenes to see the stresses they endure. SO let us support our bandleaders and let them know we appreciate them so we can continue palancing in TO and having a good time. LOL,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lady Dee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Caribana 2010 slideshow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mardi Gras, Hamilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mardi Gras, Hamilton

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