The Hard Work of Winning at Caribbean Carnival

Published in the Bay State Banner, August 18, 2017

Photo by The Bay State Banner 

The Boston Caribbean Carnival is a beloved annual tradition filled with pounding soca music, thousands of dancing participants, brilliant colors and unbelievably extravagant costumes.

But the period leading up to the joyous celebration is no walk in the park, especially for Socaholics, one of Boston’s biggest masquerade bands.

Andrea Mercury, who founded Socaholics with her husband Ken, describes in detail the kind of work necessary to create such a fantastic and vibrant display at Carnival.

“Our team is made up of 10 dedicated members who work on making the costumes,” she said. “And we all work full-time jobs so by the time we get back from work, we continue on until one or two in the morning.”

Every year, the band makes 200 to 300 costumes to perform in, with this year having the biggest turnout of over 300 dancers.

“Especially coming down to the last month of Carnival, we end up having 16- to 18-hour days,” said Mercury, who works as an accountant for a law firm.

The costume production usually starts at least seven months in advance, but the creative process is constant. “When Carnival season ends in August, we take a month to relax, but when October comes around, we start thinking about what we’re going to do,” said Mercury.

Read the rest here.

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