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Carnival costumes going like hot bread - High costs not a deterrent

Published:Sunday | January 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Xodus Carnival band directors, Scott Dunn (left) and Kamal Bankay (right) speak to masquerader Veronika Sramata about selecting the 'right costume' at showroom in the Winchester Business Centre.
The Trance Bacchanal Jamaica costume.

The commercialisation of carnival bands and high cost of costumes has not affected the sales. Directors of Xaymaca International, Xodus and Bacchanal Jamaica, have expressed that the interest has grown not only locally, but also from overseas markets.

Charmaine Franklin, one of the directors of Bacchanal Jamaica, told The Gleaner, "We had a preliminary number of costumes working with for each section, but with the outpour of interest from customers, both new and returning, it becomes more evident that more will be added."

Already, there are reports of 75% and 65% of Xaymaca International and Xodus band costumes being sold thus far.

"At the rate we are going, we will probably be completely sold out by the end of February," said Kandi King of Xaymaca International.

The Campari and Skkan Media's Red Beryl design, is the band's top-selling costume.

"Girls are in love with the colours and that gorgeous headpiece. The feedback so far has been extremely positive," King added.


Biggest band in 2017


"Last year, we were the biggest band on the road and we're already looking towards that for this year.

Three or four sections are almost sold out, so it is important for masqueraders to book fast.

April may seem a long way away, but it is not.

Foreigners have been quicker to jump and register, but we don't want our local supporters to miss out," said Xodus' Scott Dunn. This month may just be crunch time to register or finalise costume purchases for each carnival band.

"It's the first year we started early [in December], a new launch period for Bacchanal Jamaica, and with the response we are getting, we must say it was a good decision," said Franklin.


High band costume prices worth it

Persons have up until January 25 to make a US$200 deposit to secure a costume for Bacchanal Jamaica. There is quite a bit of pressure on both females and males to source the money if it is not readily available, but masqueraders are saying 'it is all worth it'.

For Ronique Satchell who has been involved in revelling in costumes on the road, it is a little different.

"I have modelled with bacchanal, so I would receive incentives which assist with acquiring a costume, whether free or discounted, as well as tickets," she said.

This year, Satchell is an ambassador for Xaymaca International and the incentives are similar. Nonetheless, it remains important to her to get the costumes and accessories as early as possible last-minute acquisition is not an option.

The Mas Camp is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Saturdays between the hours of 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. For Xaymaca, registration is also done at the band house at Barbican Beach, while the Xodus showroom is at Unit 46 Winchester Business Centre.