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WOW: Mas




Saturday, March 05, 2011
I was looking back on a bunch of old blog posts and realized I hadn't posted a WOW (Word of the Week) or a POW (Phrase of the Week) in a long time.  And since I have some exciting news to share (well, to me anyway), I figured hey, there's no time like the present.  Besides, "Wow!" is exactly what I said when I read Mark DeLeon's email today.  Let me explain...

Just yesterday, I booked a room in Toronto, Canada (never been; have you? so excited!) using some of the 200,000 Wyndham Rewards points I won in the Women on Their Way by Wyndham Worldwide Local Nation Contest.  Guess what that means?  It means I'm going to the 44th annual Caribana Toronto Festival!  Wahoooooo! 

In case you didn't know, Caribana is the largest Caribbean cultural festival in North America drawing over 1,000,000 people.  That's a lot of folks.  Based on Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, I was inspired to check it all out after learning that there's a Wyndham property located directly on the parade route (Howard Johnson's on Lakeshore).  #waytogowyndham

And since I like to dig (as in research), I also got the skinny on some of the details about Caribana which, as you might imagine, has tons activities during its three week festival run.  My digging turned up sooo much exciting information!  I even found the Official Guide for 2010.  But as I surfed and clicked and clicked and surfed, I also ended up clicking on Mas bands.  Wait.  Mas what?  What the heck's a Mas?  Well here's how Bill Casselman defines it:

Trinidad & Tobago Carnival
Mas is [the] Caribbean short form of masquerade. In its widest sense, mas can refer to the carnival or festival itself, then to the procession or parade, and finally, in its most focused meaning, to one of the bands themselves. A mas band is a group of people who work together to create intricate costumes, floats, and road dances. Some years at Caribana™ more than thirty-five separate mas groups take part in the parade.

Ooooooh.  So I have been seeing mas and didn't know it.  Now that I know what it is, I want to be a part of it all.  *Grin*

Mas  Toronto 2010
courtesy of M. DeLeon
So I sent out an email to some Mas bands, and band leader Mark DeLeon of Mas Toronto responded right away!  Mas Toronto has been in Caribana for 23 consecutive years!  Their theme in 2010 was "Out of Many...One Toronto" and different countries were represented (Greece, Egypt, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Phillippines, India, etc.) in beautiful carnival costumes.  Right up my Brown Girl alley.  And you wanna know what?  Mark says I can be in Mas Toronto!  "We at Mas Toronto will be honoured to have you play mas with us."  #igettoplaymas

I'm going to be in Caribana!  (I haven't been in a parade since *thinking* I was 9 years old in the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade singing Michael Jackson Christmas songs wearing my cute little elf outfit.  And I was excited about that too!)  I'll tell you more when I know more...but isn't this great?!?


Mas Toronto 2010
Representing Mexico!
In the meantime, Mark says that Mas Toronto is "in the process of putting together another spectacular presentation. We have a great theme and fantastic costume designs. We plan to reveal the costumes to the public at our band launch which takes place on May 13. After the band launch the costumes will be loaded on to our website - MasToronto.com. The website is currently under construction to allow us to work on the 2011 materials.  It should be up and running again in the next 3 weeks."

You know what?  This is gonna be Fun!  Have you ever been to a big Carnival?

1 comments:

OneBrownGirl.com® on: March 12, 2011 at 9:46 AM said...

Facebook comments:

can I carry your luggage....have a blast, take lots of pictures..you are our eyes and ears to all this good stuff...lol
March 5 at 11:31pm

yeah....have fun.
my hubby is from trinidad but I have never played mas...lol.
March 6 at 6:00am ·

LOL and loving it. I'm already getting excited to see your coverage of this parade and pictures of you in costume. This is so you. I know I don't have to tell you to enjoy yourself.
March 6 at 10:19am

 

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