(first published in 2004)
One of the first bits of advice for anyone coming out for the parade, masquerader or not, is to wear losts of sun block. The parade starts at 1 p.m. when the sun is still sweltering – and both spectators and masqueraders should be in their places long before then. So cake it on!
Another important piece of advice is to drink lots of water. Heat, alcohol, and lots of dancing are prime ingredients of dehydration, so stay cool. Keeping a mist bottle handy isn’t a bad idea either.
It’s always important to have comfortable shoes if you’re a masquerader. Once you’ve picked up your costume you can start working on colour-co- ordinating your shoes to match. This is not a necessity, but a nice touch.
To store important items like car keys, cell phone and cash, masqueraders also have the option of creating a little pouch from material that closely matches the colours of their costume.
Because costumes come with body accessories, the only thing else needed is matching make-up and lots and lots of glitter. Make sure you makeup is waterproof though! Funky hair accessories also add to costume presentation.
If your mas band isn’t providing wavers or flags for the road, bring one that also matches your costume – it makes waving at spectators easier and feel less like a pageant (not to mention having to respond to Soca songs that command waving).
Selfies, Goufie, Wifie, Usie, Drelfie, Youie, Helfie – what ever you call it make sure you have your camera on hand.
Sunglasses are almost a necessity for being out in the sun for hours. Even if you don’t normally wear shades it might be a good idea to invest in a pair for the road.
Have a hearty breakfast the day of the parade. Eating too much at lunch before the parade can make you tired and its never a good idea to dance and prance very much after eating.
Before coming out for the parade spectators should have already picked a spot to comfortably watch the parade. Plan a tailgate party with family or being your deck/beach chairs and cooler to sit on the sidewalk somewhere along the parade route.
Pack a garbage bag to pick up your trash – keep Cayman clean!
The need for sun block, sunglasses and lots of water is equally important for spectators’ comfort during the parade.
Comfortable shoes are also a must if you’re planning to follow the parade on foot, and remember your camera.
Also have a full breakfast before the parade and bring a flag, rag, or bandana of some sort to wave and show your support to masqueraders as they go by.