Sweet Treats from Bacchanal, Xodus
Costumes from the Skittles section (Photos: Karl Mclarty)

THE last time carnival lovers gathered to witness the unveiling of costumes was in 2019. And, after a two-year hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the highly anticipated event returned in a spectacular way as Xodus Carnival and Bacchanal Jamaica joined forces to show off 18 sections.

The event was held at the Mona Hockey Field in St Andrew on Saturday.

Unfortunately, some costumes were modelled incompletely because key parts were not yet cleared by the Jamaica Customs. Scott Dunn, managing director of Dream Entertainment, said that the showcase was memorable nonetheless.

"There's a delay in shipment and everybody knows there's lots of challenges globally with shipping right now. We had some unexpected delays, but we managed to get all the costumes here and most of the backpacks," he told the Jamaica Observer shortly after the show ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

"Ultimately, we showcased beautiful costumes. We have some lovely costumes…all the pictures are up on our Instagram page, the website is up and running so people have the opportunity to go out and see the costumes. It was a great night," he continued.

Themed 'Sweet Treats', the costume sections included Sweet Tarts, Ice breaker, Cotton Candy, Skittles, Red Whine, Tutti Fruitti, Sprinkles, Candy Apple, Red Velvet, Icy, Juicy Fruit, Pop Rocks, Honey Dew, Jolly Lollie, Milk Shake, Dulce, and Licorice.

Co-director of Bacchanal Jamaica Michael Ammar Jr was also in high spirits despite the hiccups.

"They had some challenges, but they worked through them. I mean, I've been there before and I know what the kind of problems they had are — it happens! But I think costumes made up for it 'cause they are really good," he told the Observer.

It was only just over a week ago that both bands announced that they were now allies after several years of competing with each other.

The last Road March was held in July this year. Ammar Jr said they miraculously pulled off a costume launch in such a short time frame.

"These guys worked overtime. I take my hat off to Pierre [from Xodus]. He worked overtime," the co-director said, adding that he hopes all sections will be sold out.

As for some revellers who are gearing up for the road in April 2023, the costume sections had them in a dilemma.

"They were actually pretty good. I'm happy to see how the theme was pulled off with the different colours. I'm really considering Skittles, but I'll look back at everything online before deciding," accounting clerk Sherice McDonald told the Observer.

"Jolly Lollie for the win! I'm getting mine ASAP," echoed entrepreneur Wendy Lue.

"I love them all. I'm gonna have to narrow things down," added nursing student Karen Barrett.

A Candy Apple outfit
A Red Whine costume
A model dancing up a storm in the Red Velvet costume.
A model wearing a Licorice costume.
Costumes from the Cotton Candy section
A Tutti Fruitti costume
A Red Velvet costume
This reveller dons a costume dubbed Icy.
Models in Pop Rocks designs
A Juicy Fruit costume
BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer

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