Register to play mas with Sunlime Mas at the 2024 Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly known as Caribana. Play mas with Sunlime Mas.

The Ultimate Guide to Playing Mas at Toronto Carnival

Whether you’re an avid carnivalist with years of carnival experience or a first-time masquerader, the 2024 Toronto Carnival is an event you must experience at least once. In this blog post we’ve put together the Ultimate Guide to Playing Mas at Toronto Carnival.

The Ultimate Guide to Playing Mas at Toronto Carnival with Sunlime Mas.

How to Join the Parade

For first-time masqueraders wondering, “How do I get a stunning costume and participate in the parade?” we’ve got you. Playing mas for the first time can be overwhelming if you’ve never been to Toronto Carnival before. There’s so much to think about and prepare for. That’s why we’ve put together this Beginner’s Guide to Playing Mas at Toronto Carnival with tips to help prepare you for the best time of your life! Sunlime Mas has over 8 years of experience presenting mas at Toronto Carnival, we’ve created this guide specifically with first-time masqueraders in mind.

1. What is Toronto Carnival?

Toronto Carnival is not just a parade; it’s one of the largest street festivals in North America and a competition for Mas Bands and masqueraders participating. The essence of Toronto Carnival lies in its rich cultural heritage, vibrant costumes, and electrifying music. Masqueraders wear elaborate and colourful costumes, dancing to soca music as they parade down the Lakeshore.

Each year, Mas Bands are required to portray a theme, and present that theme on stage at the Grand Parade. This year, Sunlime Mas‘ theme is UNAPOLOGETIC. The Grand Parade on August 3rd turns the Lakeshore into a street theatre, with each section telling part of the overall story, competing for the Band of the Year title.

2. Choose Your Mas Band

The first step in participating in Toronto Carnival 2024 is choosing a mas band to join. Each band offers a unique experience, and selecting the right one is crucial for your enjoyment.

Consider the Size of the Band:
Toronto Mas Bands are categorized into three categories, Small, Medium, and Large bands:

  • Small Bands: 120 – 301 masqueraders
  • Medium Bands: 301 – 729 masqueraders
  • Large Bands: 750 – 3000+ masqueraders

If you’re a first-time masquerader or large crowds stress you out, a Medium-sized band might offer the best experience. As a medium-sized band, we provide a balance of energy and the experience is not as overwhelming as large bands, making us a great choice for new masqueraders.

Consider the Band’s Services and Offerings:
Each Mas Band offers a variety of services to enhance your carnival experience. For example, Sunlime Mas provides:

  • Meals: Light breakfast, hot lunch, and snacks (including patties, chips, cookies, and protein bars).
  • Beverages: Unlimited non-alcoholic drinks such as water and juice, as well as premium punch.
  • Goodie Bag: Branded merchandise and carnival essentials in addition to your costume.

Other bands may offer simpler packages, just providing drinks and lunch on the road with your costume. Regardless of your budget, there’s a Mas Band in Toronto for you!

Sunlime team members serving masqueraders water at the 2023 Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade. Register to play mas with Sunlime Mas at Caribana.
Team Sunlime handing out water to masqueraders at the 2023 Toronto Caribbean Carnival

Costume Construction and Delivery:
Playing mas is a financial investment, with many masqueraders spending months saving for this experience. It’s important to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth, not just with the Parade Day experience, but with your costume construction and delivery. Sunlime Mas is known for delivering exceptionally well-crafted costumes that stand the test of time and hold up on the road. There is nothing worse than having a poorly constructed costume that falls apart while you’re playing mas!

In addition, what you see is what you get. We’ve heard many stories of masqueraders receiving a costume that looks nothing like the one they purchased. At Sunlime, you can rest assured that what you see is indeed what you get. We are known for delivering excellent customer service and an exceptionally smooth costume pick-up experience.

3. Secure Your Costume

With 8 beautiful sections to choose from, finding the right costume depends on your budget and preference. Here are some tips to help you make the best choice:

Act Quickly
Some sections sell out within weeks of launching, so if you have your eye on a specific costume, you’ll need to act fast. Visit our site to register today:

Think About Coverage Options
Each section offers varying levels of coverage. Some costumes are more revealing, while others provide more coverage. Sunlime Mas offers options such as full coverage bras, high-waisted panties, monokinis, or bicycle shorts. Not all coverage options are listed on our site, so if you don’t see the option when registering, feel free to shoot the Section Leader an email or DM on Instagram to inquire about their coverage options. Choose the one that makes you feel most comfortable and confident.

Masqueraders on the Lakeshore at the 2023 Toronto Caribbean Carnival with Sunlime Mas. Register to play mas at Toronto Carnival with Sunlime Mas.

If you plan on playing mas with friends, you might want to coordinate costumes. Sections are required to stay together when crossing the stage, and in general along the parade route. Meaning, if you have a group of 8 and half prefer a gold costume, while the other half prefer a red costume then your group would be split on Parade day. If you’d like to play together, we recommend sticking with one section. Alternatively, members of your group can choose their costume based on individual preferences.

Pay Your Deposit
Once you’ve chosen your costume, you’ll need to pay a non-refundable deposit. Make sure to keep track of payment deadlines to avoid any issues on pickup.

4. Preparing for the Parade

Toronto Carnival is not for the weak. With over 5KM of road, endurance is key! Here are some tips to help you prepare:

Build Your Stamina
Start incorporating cardio exercises into your routine to build endurance. Walking, jogging, or dancing are great ways to prepare your body for the parade.

Embrace Body Positivity
There’s no pressure to have the perfect body because carnival is inclusive and embraces everyBODY. Sunlime Mas is a body-inclusive band, offering a variety of options, including whole suits, high-waisted panties, and full coverage bras and panties.

Masqueraders on the Lakeshore at the 2023 Toronto Caribbean Carnival with Sunlime Mas. Register to play mas at Toronto Carnival with Sunlime Mas.

Hydrate and Rest:
We supply all of our masqueraders with water throughout the day, so be sure to stay hydrated. This will help you feel your best and enjoy your carnival experience to the fullest.

Pack Essentials:
Prepare a small bag with essentials such as sunscreen, lip chap, hand sanitizer, and any personal items you might need on parade day.

5. Embrace the Soca Vibes

There is nothing more infectious than the sounds of soca. At Toronto Carnival, you’ll be immersed in the soca vibes. If you’re familiar with soca music, great! If not, here are some ways to get into it:

Explore DJ Playlists:
Check out our DJ playlist to get yourself familiar with this year’s soca hits. Listening to soca music will get you in the right mindset and enhance your carnival experience.

Check Music Streaming Services
Platforms like YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music are excellent resources for discovering new soca music. Simply search for “[year] + [soca]” to find the latest tracks and get into the vibe. Take it a step further by familiarizing yourself with small island soca from islands like St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and more, simply search for “[country] + [year] + [soca].

Fete Till You Drop
Consider attending a few fetes to get a better taste of the music and atmosphere. Fetes are great opportunity to meet fellow soca warriors and build your excitement and anticipation for the parade. We recommend using for all of your fete tickets.

Masqueraders on the stage at the 2023 Toronto Caribbean Carnival with Sunlime Mas. Register to play mas at Toronto Carnival with Sunlime Mas.

Ready to join the fun? Visit Sunlime Mas‘ website to explore our costume lineup and secure your spot in the parade. Let us know in the comments which of our 8 sections you’re interested in playing in at Toronto Carnival 2024. Got questions? Drop those in the comments too or shoot us an email at We can’t wait to see you on the Lakeshore!

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