By Stephen Weir
Yesterday, it was a sunny 17 degrees Celsius in Atlanta, Georgia, while Toronto experienced wet and snowy conditions with a temperature of minus 4 degrees. No wonder Toronto’s international costume designer, Thea Jackson, has Georgia on her mind these days.
Jackson has recently returned from the Atlanta “Bandlaunch,” where she showcased her latest mas costume designs to revelers planning to participate in this spring’s Atlanta Caribbean Carnival. The annual event is scheduled during the city’s Memorial Day May 27th Weekend.
In front of a full house in Atlanta, her designs were displayed to an enthusiastic crowd. Her show reflected pure Toronto style, featuring beautiful costumes,
models, and Soca music. Jackson designs for the city’s Madd Colors Carnival Mas Band.
“2024 is a special year for the band,” she shared with The Caribbean Camera.
“Madd Colors Carnival is celebrating 15 years with their theme ‘Chrysalis,’ and the section I am designing for is called ‘EVOLVE.’”
“Life is about growth, and just like the crystals from the earth, they start as something small, yet evolve into something so beautiful, especially when pressure is applied. This section uses numerous jewels to represent those crystals and our connection with the earth.”
The first Caribbean Carnival in Atlanta took place in 1988 and became the official kickoff of the U.S. carnival season, attracting thousands of visitors, including many from Toronto for the Memorial Day weekend event.
The weekend features a J’ouvert street party, a children’s parade, and the grand parade. Carnival attendance continues to grow, with an estimate of over 50,000 people attending the parade last year. A growing number of Canadians also travel south to join in the festivities.
Jackson is now busy fulfilling her Georgia orders and preparing for the Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2024’s costume launch season, which, for people in Thea’s line of work, is just around the corner. And yes, so is Spring.