If you are a Carnival Newbie and have heard the term "backpack" "front line" or "mas" your probably wondering what those means. I break down all the essential terms to know to figure out what Carnival Costume look you want to rock this season.
What is a Carnival Band?
A Carnival Band is the organization that is creating the costume and events for their masqueraders. In other words the band is the promoter who is sponsoring and hosting for their participants in the band. So if its your first Carnival, the first thing you want to do is find a band that is participating in the Carnival you want to attend.
Most bands tend to be local to where the Carnival is being held. The easiest way to usually find a Carnival Band is to go the country/city site that is hosting the event's official Carnival page and look at the registered bands.
Word of mouth is also key in selecting a band. Some bands are high end, some cater to a particular age or size group and some just are bad! So you always want to check with other people who have been or "played" with that Band to get an idea of the experience.
Our blog will always have the latest updates and links to the latest Carnival Band offerings!
How Do I Find a Carnival Costume?
Now that you have found the Carnival Band you want to play with, its time to pick your costume. Each Carnival Band will usually offer different Carnival Sections. A section is basically one type of costume design. Some bands may offer 1-2 sections while others 10-12.
Carnival Bands usually hire different designers and provide a general theme so each section is usually unique but stays with the theme of that year.
When picking what section, you usually want to check to see what you or your friends are doing. While you may be in the same band, large carnivals can consist of thousands of people so, to stay with your crew, playing in the same section can sometimes make sure you all hang out together and don't get separated on the road.
Most Carnival Bands now offer online registration, once you have your band and your section, the next step is picking what your costume is going to consist of.
When reviewing the sections offerings you will usually see terms like "Backline" "Midline" and "Frontline". But what do these means. They basically describe how elaborate the costume is.
The cheapest option which would be equivalent to the costume basic is Backline. It usually just comes with the bodywear and sometimes some wristbands or leg bands. Now a days, there isn't a feather backpack option included in most of the Backline options or its an add on to the costume. So if you want feathers, but only select backline, make sure and check that the costume includes it.
The second option is midline. This costume is as it sounds, the middle of the road, it comes with all the backline basics but more expensive and usually will come with a feather backpack included.
The most expensive, most elaborate and heaviest of the costumes is Frontline. Frontline options are usually the most spectacular bodywear and feather backpacks. If you are a carnival newbie, this probably shouldn't be your first choice. Frontline backpacks while glamourous are heavy!. My personal cheat is to just borrow someone's for pics!
What are Carnival Costume Sizes?
Everything about carnival is sexy, skimpy and small! In all my years of carnival, all costumes run small!
Also know, once you register its really hard to change sizes the day of costume pick up. Carnival Bands create and order what you register for. If you register for a small thinking "yeah i can loose 5 pounds" and don't, don't be shocked if that's all you get the day of. So word to the wise.... order your right size!
Stay tuned for more information and ideas to make the best of your experience. #carnivalmonday #carnival #carnivalmw #miamicarnival2023 #miamicarnival
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