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Pageants are usually conceived on a fairly large scale, often under the auspices of some local or civic authority or at any rate in connection with local groups of some kind. This sometimes means that there is an allocation of funds available for the purpose of mounting the production, though unfortunately this will usually be found to be on the meager side and much ingenuity will have to be used to stretch it so that all performers can be adequately clothed.
Most pageants have a historical flavour as they usually come about through the celebration of the anniversary of some event of historic importance, or the life or death of some local worthy. Research among archives and books in the public library will probably prove very useful and produce some workable ideas which will give the production an especially local flavour. From the first economy will have to be practiced because there are usually a great number of people to dress. Leading characters can be considered individually in the same way as when designing for a play; but the main body of the performers will need to be planned in groups and the massed effect must be always borne in mind.
Many pageants take place in daylight in the open air. This is an entirely different problem from designing costumes which are going to be looked at under artificial lighting; for one thing, scenes viewed in the daylight are subject to many more distractions. No longer is everything around cut out by the surrounding darkness, but instead it is very easy to be aware of disturbing movement in the audience of behind the performers. Very theatrically conceived clothes do not always look their best when seen in a daylight setting of trees, verdant lawns and old ivy-covered walls; the same goes for costumes being worn in front of the mellow colors of stately homes. The location needs to be studied and then a decision can be made as to what kinds of colors