FOR its 25th season, Bacchanal Jamaica's organisers are 'shaking things up' with some bold innovations.
For the first time, they have teamed with a financial institution to ease the economic pinch on their supporters.
"This year revellers are given the option of obtaining a $50,000 loan which they can repay over a six-month period," Michael Ammar Jr, a Bacchanal director, told the Jamaica Observer. "The loans can be accessed from Easy as 123, a division of Proven Wealth Company."
Ammar Jr spoke on Tuesday to media and sponsors at Bacchanal's launch at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew.
"This venture is really to ease the burden of revellers having to pay for their costumes with just one payment. Now, they have the chance of paying instalments over a period of time," he said.
Ammar Jr disclosed that there is also a route change for the April 10 road march, but details are yet to be ironed out.
He said the decision came about based on requests from revellers, many of whom have been with the group since it started in 1989.
"Twenty-five years ago, a few good friends decided to bring 'Mas' to the streets of Kingston for all to enjoy. For years, they had participated in Trinidad Carnival and longed to share this experience with the people of Jamaica," he said.
"Many thought they were crazy and some openly opposed their efforts.
After months of working on costumes every night, planning and organising, 'The Oakridge Boys' presented the first Mas, 'Paradise'," he continued.
Over 300 'socaphiles' participated in the inaugural road march.
This year's 12 costumes were paraded Tuesday. They are sponsored by Digicel, Smirnoff, Appleton, Pure Country, Ammar's, FAME, and the Jamaica Observer.
The season officially begins on February 15 with a fete at the New Mas Camp, Stadium North, in St Andrew.
This will make way for the Socacise series on February 18. Each Friday, from February 22 to March 15, it will be Bacchanal Fridays with the first and only Saturday fete set for March 23.
The season rounds off with Beach J'ouvert on March 30, Soca @ De Sandbar on April 3, and Bacchanal J'Ouvert at James Bond Beach on April 5.
Le Masquerade Road March takes place the following Sunday.
Among the artistes booked for the season are Kes, Image and Company, Bunji Garlin, and Fayon Lyons along with their Asylum Band and Destra Garcia.