Louis Saldenah, Canada’s most winning Mas Man said it before his Friday night Saldenah Carnival’s Streets of Fire costume launch and he is saying it now for sure.
“ I told you so! The people of Toronto are hungry, hungry, hungry for carnival and 2022 is going to be the year,” predicted Saldenah after his launch party attracted 2,000 people hungry to look at the costumes that will be worn on the road in this year’s Toronto Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade.
“ I have always said this is going to be the best Carnival ever,” he told carnival journalist Stephen Weir. “After two years being cooped up at home without Carnival, I think everyone is saying, “Damn it, let’s just get out there (and jump up).”
Louis’s Saldenah Carnival (formally the Mas K Club) holds the record of twenty “Band of the Year” titles for the annual Caribbean Carnival parade. Not only does his band win prizes for the looks of their masquerade costumes they also bring the largest number of paraders onto Lakeshore Blvd.
“The biggest? Just a few years ago we had 5,000 playing Mas. Judging by the size of the crowd that filled Scarborough’s Grand Cinnamon Ballroom, 4,000 is my conservative guess on the size of the band July 29th.”
Saldenah reported that 2,000 paying customers filled the hall to watch skimpily attired female and male models do their thing. Wonder if the forced mandate to wear masks and cover up bare skin will make for 2022 modest costumes after lifting the covid dress code? Ohh La La, judging by what the 16 sections were presenting Friday, it looks like the covid masks we all wore are made with more fabric that this year’s outfit.
It was a long loud night. The doors opened at 8pm, the fashion show kicked off at midnight and ended close to 3 am. Aside from a welcoming speech by the only Black member of city council, Toronto’s deputy mayor Michael Thompson, it was all music and sexy magical parade duds.
Now that is over, the Saldenah team is faced with a big challenge. Finding a warehouse big enough to set up a mas camp. There are thousands of costumes that must be sold, glued sewn, fitted, and picked up.
Until they do find a new home, revelers are advised to visit the Saldenah website and order their costumes on-line.