Check out out Behind the Scenes Video shot by our Videographer, Adam Beck
The 43rd Annual Scotia Bank Caribana Parade kicked off on Saturday July 30th. The event started at 10am with thousands of revellers parading in their mas’ costumes along the Lakeshore and millions of spectators enjoying the festivities that continued until later in the evening.
Caribana can be traced back to the carnivals that take place in most of our native West Indian countries from which many Toronto’s diverse ethnic groups descend, so it’s no surprise more than a million people from across the globe make it their duty to come out each year and join along with the fun. The atmosphere itself was beautiful, the costumes, the Music, Floats, Fashion and the cultural interaction. The music is nonstop fast paced and serenity is in the air. This was my first time back at Caribana in a few years, and there were many changes that I had seen, but did not see for myself, but alas, the reputation lived up to its name. Millions of people packed Lakeshore and were eating, drinking, smoking, dancing, and overall just enjoying themselves.
The majority of the music played was Soca, the music that pays homage to the traditional ‘Carnival,’ but there were also Reggae & hip-hop floats, a testament of Caribana’s global reach. The soca music stretched from Bajan to Trinidadian & Guyanese. The costumes worn by the mas players were colorful, elaborate. They truly brought out the meaning of the word “fete” or “party.” In the blazing hot sun, it didn’t matter how much glitter, eye shadow, feathers, or armor (for one mas band) that covered the people, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves dancing with the tourists and visitors of Toronto, while they still managed to hold a smile and kept jumping and waving.
I think the Fashion at the parade this year mainly focused on the “Comfort.” Females were decked out in Denim Shorts, Crop Tops, Slipper/Flats, with the majority of them with their hair pulled back, to protect themselves in the hot weather. Caribana always seems to get bigger and better with each year that passes. The countdown to 2012 has already started, so who knows what’s to happen next year, but for now, we reminisce on the recent gathering, we wait, we prepare.