It might now be called “Caribbean Carnival”, but to most revelers, it’s still “Caribana”. Even though a trademark dispute forced the name change a couple of months ago, the festival that celebrates Caribbean culture, costumes, food and music is in full swing in the city of Toronto this weekend. It’s time to get ready for one of the biggest parties in North America!
The big parade takes place this Saturday along Lakeshore Boulevard and tonight is the King & Queen Show at Lamport Stadium. As they do every year, representatives of the various bands who will be flaunting their stuff in the parade, will be showcasing their elaborate costumes to compete for the titles of King and Queen.
“It’s a fantastic event,” described one our Synergy representatives earlier today, “I don’t know if people realize just how much work goes into each one of these costumes. They literally take months to design, prepare and put together. Tonight marks the culmination of many long weeks of hard work.”
Caribana, or the Caribbean Carnival as it’s now known, was introduced to the city of Toronto in 1967. Following the tradition of such countries as Trinidad and Tobago, the annual event features an array of musical events that display wondrous colourful costumes.
In addition to the parade, parties known as Fêtes and J’ouvert (pronounced “joo-vay”) take place that include musical performances from many big name artists from the Caribbean. Calypso and Soca music make up the soundtrack of the festival each and every year and one can’t help but dance when the music is being performed.
“It’s the biggest party of the year,” said another member of our staff members, “You literally don’t stop dancing all weekend. It’s not just for people of the Caribbean. Each year, people from all over the city and all over the world pack the downtown streets of Toronto for Caribana. It’s such an amazing experience.”
Not to mention, with all of the visitors coming into Toronto for the Caribbean Carnival, it provides a major boost to the local economy. If you’ve never experienced Caribana before, this should be your year to check it out. The King & Queen Show kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight at Lamport Stadium and the parade gets going at 10 a.m. on Lakeshore Boulevard on Saturday.