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Monday, May 07, 2007

New Band Alert..again

2008 seems to be the year with many, many choices for masqueraders which is always a good thing! Thanks to Afrochic for the S.O.S., Ronnie and Caro who produced the special section "Chutney" in Legacy this year will be branching out to form their own band for 2008. The new band will be entirely all-inclusive consisting of 10 sections catering to 100- 125 masqueraders per section.

The theme for 2008 is "The Gulf" (as in The Gulf of Paria) and band launch is scheduled for August at 51 Degrees. The motto of Ronnie and Caro's new band for 2008 is "Fun for so!".

For more information:
Singles - 726-4001

Is it worth it?

The poll results are in and out of a total of 119 votes, in spite of all the comments left against the high prices of costumes this year, 57% of you are willing to pay even higher prices for 2008. Of that number 32% said they would pay higher prices once they could afford it, 22% responded that price is no object once they love a costume and 3% would pay the higher prices once someone else is paying. Of the respondents who voted that they would not pay the higher prices, 22% said the prices this year were too high and they were not willing to pay more for 2008, 14% are taking a stand against higher prices even if they can afford it and 8% will look for a cheaper costume in another band.

I can only hesitate to guess that after band launching when potential masqueraders see the costumes price becomes a secondary consideration in choosing. Many people usually ask me the question “is it worth it?” in relation to the high cost of a Carnival costume and while it is a highly subjective opinion, clearly the poll results show that it is worth it to more than half of those who voted. To me costume selection for many female masqueraders is purely an emotional one; some of us want the most outstanding costume while others want to be frontline and it is the play on these emotions that drive us crazy and rationale out the window.

The other industry that does the same thing is the wedding business. Has anyone done a budget for the cost of an “average” wedding in Trinidad these days? I have two friends who are getting married this year and one is spending over 30 thousand dollars while the other is spending close to 100 thousand! Playing heavily into the wedding planning is the dress, which cost each bride $4000.00 and $8500.00 respectively. As beautiful as the wedding dress is the fact remains that you only wear it for close to eight hours, and one bride even plans on changing into another dress at the reception!

Ask a bride is a wedding dress is worth it and you would more than likely get a resounding yes! Much like a masquerader who can rationalize that they are getting two days of merriment, drinks and food included in the price of $3000.00; compare that to the bride who does not even get to wear the dress for 24 hours! I remember when getting married I set a budget of how much I was willing to pay for my dress and I have to admit I do the same thing when choosing my costume so I too would fall into the percentage that responded yes they would pay the higher prices once the can afford it. On one hand I know that the costume itself is not “worth it” but I am driven by the experience and an emotional satisfaction. I would never choose a costume I did not like because of the cost!

So to tell the truth I am not totally surprised at the result of the poll, I am more surprised that the percentages were so close; it is almost 50/50 on who is willing to pay higher prices for 2008 and who is not. For all those looking forward to playing mas in 2008 something tells me that SOME bandleaders might try to keep costume prices the same as they were next year, and not increase it. Of course that is merely speculation and if costume prices do raise above my budget and the price I am willing to pay I guess I would join the 8% who will have to look for a cheaper costume in another band…..I am keeping an eye on Harts just in case.

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