Suga Candy Mas readies for the return of Labor Day Carnival

Masquerader, Kayla Freeman, left, and Suga Candy Mas band leader Maxine Magdaleno, showcase creations from the Ambrosia section designed by Carib Colors, as part of an exciting costume band, ready to vie in the 'big band' category on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5.
Masquerader, Kayla Freeman, left, and Suga Candy Mas band leader Maxine Magdaleno, showcase creations from the Ambrosia section designed by Carib Colors, as part of an exciting costume band, ready to vie in the ‘big band’ category on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Excitement is building for the return of the Labor Day carnival on Eastern Parkway on Sept. 5, while Suga Candy Mas band leader Maxine Magdaleno, works around the clock to put on the final touches to dazzle judges and spectators alike, at the first in-person celebration after a two-year pause.

Magdaleno, a versed costume designer who traces her roots to Belize, recently did a thrilling display at an Avenue M tarmac in Brooklyn on July 19 masquerading to spirited carnival music in a revealing bejeweled creation from Ambrosia โ€” one of the five sections of the Suga Candy Mas. The pieces are designed with feathers, rhinestone, and sequins, and accessorized with bellowing headpieces to capture the bandโ€™s Jungle Fever theme.

She said the band will explore everything the jungle has to offer, portraying facets including the ocean, trees, plants, flowers, while incorporating the brilliant and colorful elements of the Caribbean.

โ€œAfter two years weโ€™ll be back on the road, and ready for Labor Day. Itโ€™s been long enough. Over the pandemic, Iโ€™ve been practicing my craft, networking, and trying to do everything I can do to make Labor Day better again, and to make it just as exciting as it was years ago,” said Magdaleno, a past costume band winner, who will vie in the big band category with front, middle, and back lines, featuring over 300 masqueraders.

โ€œWe will be doing everything we have been doing over the years, and even bigger and better,โ€ she said, with hopes of expanding the sections in 2023.

And like some band leaders, who commission designers to create sections, Suga Candy Mas, sought the creative energy of a two-woman team under the Carib Colors brand name.

Maxine Magdaleno, band leader of Suga Candy Mas has been designing costumes since age nine. Here she is decked out in a revealing creation from the section Ambrosia by Carib Colors, under the Jungle Fever theme.
Maxine Magdaleno, band leader of Suga Candy Mas has been designing costumes since age nine. Here she is decked out in a revealing creation from the section Ambrosia by Carib Colors, under the Jungle Fever theme.Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The band leader, who began designing costumes at a very young age, and had noted in a past interview that carnival runs through her veins, invited Carib Colors to produce the section, inspired by the jungle, hence the vivid concept that has been incorporated in carnivals in Grenada, Miami, and will for the first time, hypnotize the Labor Day carnival in Brooklyn.

The Trinidad and Grenadian Carib Colors team, who said they love carnival, was inspired by ๐—๐—๐–พ ๐–ข๐–บ๐—†๐–ป๐—ˆ๐–ฝ๐—‚๐–บ ๐—ƒ๐—Ž๐—‡๐—€๐—…๐–พ ๐—Š๐—Ž๐–พ๐–พ๐—‡ b๐—Ž๐—๐—๐–พ๐—‹๐–ฟ๐—…๐—’, which is the ๐—‡๐–พ๐–ผ๐—๐–บ๐—‹ ๐—ˆ๐–ฟ ๐—๐—๐–พ ๐–ฆ๐—ˆ๐–ฝ๐—Œ ๐–ฎ๐—‹๐–ผ๐—๐—‚๐–ฝ ๐–ก๐–พ๐–พ, g๐—‚๐—๐—‚๐—‡๐—€ ๐—…๐—‚๐–ฟ๐–พ ๐–พ๐—‡๐–พ๐—‹๐—€๐—’ ๐—๐—๐—‚๐—…๐–พ ๐–ผ๐—‹๐–พ๐–บ๐—๐—‚๐—‡๐—€ ๐—Œ๐—Ž๐–ผ๐–ผ๐—Ž๐—…๐–พ๐—‡๐— ๐—Œ๐—Ž๐—Œ๐—๐–พ๐—‡๐–บ๐—‡๐–ผ๐–พ. T๐—๐–พ ๐–ก๐—Ž๐—๐—๐–พ๐—‹๐–ฟ๐—…๐—’ ๐–ฐ๐—Ž๐–พ๐–พ๐—‡ ๐—‹๐–พ๐—‰๐—‹๐–พ๐—Œ๐–พ๐—‡๐—๐—Œ ๐—๐–พ๐—‹ ๐–ป๐–พ๐–บ๐—Ž๐—๐—’ ๐–ป๐—’ ๐—‡๐–บ๐—๐—Ž๐—‹๐–พ ๐–บ๐—‡๐–ฝ ๐—๐—๐–พ ๐–ก๐–พ๐–พ ๐—‹๐–พ๐—‰๐—‹๐–พ๐—Œ๐–พ๐—‡๐— ๐—๐–พ๐—‹ s๐—๐—‹๐–พ๐—‡๐—€๐—๐—, they said.

They noted that the design was well thought out โ€œwith the conceptual aspect of this section to bring it alive. We saw it played out in our own backyard, living in New York with the garment district right around the corner. We used our environment, working with local manufacturers to produce the costumes,โ€ they said.

Magdalino described the exquisite creations as being moderately priced, from $300 to $1000 depending on the intricacies of the design, and craftsmanship. Masqueraders also have the style options of ๐–ฌ๐—ˆ๐—‡๐—ˆ๐—„๐—‚๐—‡๐—‚ ๐–ก๐—ˆ๐–ฝ๐—’ ๐–ถ๐–พ๐–บ๐—‹, and ๐–ด๐—…๐—๐—‹๐–บ ๐–ก๐—ˆ๐–ฝ๐—’ ๐–ถ๐–พ๐–บ๐—‹ to choose from.

Suga Candy Mas is a multicultural organization with a foundation built on solidarity, dexterity, and cultural discernment since 2015. Suga Candy Mas prides itself on providing the ultimate carnival experience to over 1000 masqueraders each time the band takes part in New Yorkโ€™s annual West Indian American Day Carnival.

The mas camp, located at Precise Event Space, 1346 Utica Ave., Brooklyn, is open for registration with a payment plan in place. Masqueraders are encouraged to use money transfer platforms, Zelle, and Cash App as an option.

For more information, connect: @sugacandymas- email- [email protected], [email protected], click www.sugacandymas.org or call 347-656-3753, for more information.

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