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Jamaica News - Real Estate - Agriculture (March 3, 2005)
Gearing Up For Carnival 
Whatever the cost, physically or financially, Socaphiles will be jumping carnival again this year.

And in gearing for the big day, revellers have no scarcity of activities to tax them physically. Financially though, it is totally left to the budget.

Leading up to the road march, both groups - Bacchanal Carnival and Jamaica Carnival - have a raft of activities on their schedule to keep the nights of their followers fully occupied. Feting until the road-march day on April 3 could run expenses from a happily manageable figure, probably under $12,000, including a costume, to whatever heights the cost for your version of jumping will reach.

Outfitting for carnival fetes is simple.

First there is the weekly Soca'cise. Incidentally, Jamaica Carnival's Socarobics has been off the carnival radar again this year. This exercise regimen is not to be seen in a vacuum, for on the day of the road march the reason for all that jumping and stretching will become agonisingly evident. Held twice per week, entrance is free at Soca'cise

The gym wear is what you might have to think about, especially if you are fashion-conscious. If you are not already suited out, a good pair of sneakers will start at approximately $3,000. Brand name? Try Athlete's Foot for one, while reminding that they specialise in sneakers for sporting events and not walking shoes, they have top brands starting at $4,200 that will last the entire season and beyond. At exercise, any old tee shirt and shorts or a sweat bottom might suffice for the males, but for females proper sportswear is in order. This includes a sports bra and tights from approximately $1,500 to anywhere in the region of $4,000. Fashion-conscious revellers, simply multiply the figures by the number of suits you may need. You're now ready to kick up a storm.

On Fridays, until the big day, there is Mas Camp Night on Oxford Road in Kingston. Entrance is $300. And with the purchase of a plastic cup for $500 revellers can refill and drink all night. There are three Friday Mas Camp nights left before the April 1 Friday night Bacchanal J'ouvert. Entrance fee at J'ouvert we are not sure about, but here there should be no worry about the cost of clothes. You'll probably have to throw them out after the night is over.

Jamaica Carnival is spreading its fever across the island. Tomorrow with their first Friday fete in Kingston they will blowout at Constant Spring Road's Weekenz. And so it will continue at venues as diverse as May Pen's Tiger Mart, Folly Oval Portland and Colonel Cove in St Thomas. If you're a travelling soca fan, factor in petrol costs, even its only for Chukka Cove. To jump at Chukka this year, set aside $950 pre-sold or prepare to pay $1,200 at the gate.

Costumes! How could you forget the costumes? Well, Bacchanal Carnival has six designs. Visions, for the most inhibited, at $3,000, Desire for $5,600, Bizarre at $5,800, Imagination at $5,800, Caprice - $6,000 and the most expensive - Illusions at $7,000.

At Jamaica Carnival there are two frugal choices. There is Pretty Mas (a link to Trini Carnival) for $3,000 and the ACA (affordable carnival attire) for $1,200. With the ACA costume there will be a choice from a range of styles including tee shirts and shorts.

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