|Mas Makers Does It Again and Again
by Monica Conrady
For many in the Bay Area, Carnaval is a year-round happening. Stephen Tiffenson is one of them. Not only a well-known and liked figure in the San Francisco Carnaval community, he consistently wins acclaim from carnivals and festivals around the country.
A major presence in Carnaval San Francisco for more than two decades, Tiffenson and his contingent, Mas Makers Massive, help bring a taste of Trinidad carnival to the streets of San Francisco each May.
And they always win awards. Last year, 2005, Mas Makers Massive won first place in the Caribbean Category and placed Third Overall in Carnaval SF.
Then in October, Tiffenson and a small group of Mas Makers traveled to Florida to take part in Miami Carnival 2005. Wearing one of his fantastic Trini costumes, portraying "Heba, The Dancing Alien" from China Mas Group's "Outta Dis World", Stephen won Second Place in the King of Miami Carnaval Competition. And in Los Angeles, he won Third Place in the Calypso competition.
Right now, Stephen and his wife, Colleen, are busy gearing up for this year's Carnaval SF. With the overall theme being, "Land of Childhood Dreams", they will undoubtedly be more committed than ever to including children from Bay Area schools, youth clubs and community organizations in Mas Makers Massive.
Their theme will be "Can Boulay," which refers to the tradition of the farmers burning the fields prior to harvesting the sugar cane. And for the second year running, the Trinidad band, JMC Triveni, playing their "chutney soca" music, will join Mas Makers Massive for Carnaval San Francisco. Chutney Soca is a blend of East Indian 'chutney' music with 'soca', an irresistible mix which highlights the diversity of music from Trinidad. Costume designer Kyle Hill will once again be producing some dazzling costumes relating to the theme.
Originally published at www.carnavalsf.com Feb 2006
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