By SHALWAH EVANS
As people wearing staff t-shirts hustled cartons of water bottles, sacks of potatoes and pans smelling of succulent chicken into Bryant Elementary School on York Street early today, dancers began to stream into the cafeteria to prepare for the the Grande Carnaval Parade that would began at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on Bryant and 24th Streets. More than 60 groups would be in the line up, all sporting a costume vibrant enough to help set their performance apart from the others. Sabrina Santiago, one of Tania Santiago’s ODC dancers, smiled and posed for photos as her colleagues customized their costumes to fit their personalities.
Chris Dichtel described himself as “part of the Cuban side” of the Brazil/Cuba San Francisco Dancers as he put finishing touches on his simple, yet colorful outfit of white slacks and a white dress shirt with flared purple and gold sleeve add-ons. Some dancers said they began planning their costumes months ago in February, many stitching the pieces themselves. From dingy, dusty pirate hats and face paint to the crisp clean whites of the Capoeira troupe, this year’s display of costumes incorporated a mix of fun, color, and fashion flare to turn Bryant Street into a catwalk Carnaval.