Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer
Bacchanal Jamaica seems to be pulling out all the stops for its silver anniversary with its Le Masquerade theme this year.
Jamaica's premier mas band hosted the media launch for its 2013 season at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Tuesday, and two premium sponsors, Digicel and Smirnoff, showed they meant business.
Digicel's introduction came with a well-choreographed dance routine which opened with an exquisite opera-like rendition of Bunji Garlin's Differentology by singer Anna Strachan.
"What we did tonight was bring the theme 'Le Masquerade' to life. We are very excited about our theme this year and it's going to transcend into the mas camp on February 15," Digicel's sponsorship manager, Tahnida Nunes, told The Gleaner.
"We are also excited about our night when the Le Masquerade theme which was inspired by the Phantom of The Opera, will really come to life on March 23rd, and Kes and the Band will help to make that happen. Our costumes also play a big role in our theme as we have what we call BE (Be Extraordinary) colours," Nunes continued.
Smirnoff, however, presented a different spin on the Le Masquerade theme, tying it in with their recently launched Midnight Circus initiative. The vodka giant's introduction at the media launch involved a circus-themed performance by two dancers donning full-body, cheetah-print spandex suits.
circus theme central
"Midnight Circus has been a great part of our platform for the last six months and, of course, we felt very compelled to have it play a role in what Smirnoff's Bacchanal experience would be like. We'll be bringing new and exciting things like Midnight Blues, which is one of our special cocktails which we are pushing this season," said Kamal Powell, assistant brand manager at Red Stripe.
Powell also said the ace up Smirnoff's sleeve this year is the 10 per cent discount being offered on the Smirnoff costume - Cirque Du Minuit - to revellers who have purchased the Smirnoff Bacchanal season pass.
The Le Masquerade season officially kicks off on February 15 with an opening-night fête at the New Mas Camp, and will feature top local deejays and special treats from sponsors. Socacise begins on Monday, February 18, and is open to the public free of cost every Monday and Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Every Friday from February 22 to March 15, revellers will be able to "Get on bad" at the weekly Bacchanal Fridays parties which will be followed by the first-ever Saturday fête - Bacchanal Saturday - March 23.
The 2013 season of Bacchanal Jamaica rounds out with Beach J'ouvert on March 30, Soca @ De Sandbar on April 3, and Bacchanal J'ouvert on April 5.
The crescendo of the carnival season will be on Sunday, April 7, when thousands of people will march the streets of Kingston to officially close the season with the highly anticipated road march.