Donkey wears dress, tights to community festival

August 03, 2018

Sitting atop a donkey that was dressed to the T in a colourful body suit and adorned with jewellery and braids is not something I ever dreamt of. I have been close to donkeys before, but never thought of hopping on for a ride.

For fear of falling off a 14-year-old burro, I could only force a half-smile for the photographer in efforts to not make any sudden movements. The animal's owners, Dwayne Jones and Shamell Ellis, had cautioned me not to do anything that would startle the animal.

Dulcimina, as the donkey is called, would have won the prize for best dressed donkey at the annual Top Hill Donkey Race in St Catherine on Wednesday, if there was one. But with no such competition, Dwayne and Shamell decided he was too old to race with the 15-plus donkeys that were providing entertainment at the annual Emancipation race day.

VIDEO: Donkey wears dress, tights to community festival

They spent more than one hour dressing the animal with two tights, a dress, a blouse and a hat, before accessorising it with bubbles and earrings. They even changed the name of the animal from Pablo and renamed it Dulcimina, which is actually the name of a popular '70s-into-'80s radio drama series.

"Ladies like ladies and females attract more people, that is why we give the donkey a feminine name," Shamell said.

Dwayne and Shamell, who are farmers by profession, agreed to use Emancipation Day for fun and took their burro to the annual Top Hill Donkey Race for the purpose of entertaining the younger patrons.

Dulcimina did not seem to enjoy me being on top of him, and expressed it through his brays. The ride lasted less than two minutes before I requested to be removed and allow the excited children to have their chance.

Many lined up with monetary contributions from $100 to $500, either to take a photo on top of Dulcimina or for a short ride atop the best dressed donkey.

The bandana phone case for a smartphone connected to headphones which were used to play music for Dulcimina's enjoyment, was all the more fascinating for the curious little spectators.

"Nobody can dress donkey like we, so there's no one here to challenge us," Dwayne said.

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