SCOTIABANK CARIBANA 2010
For 43 years Caribana has been held in downtown Toronto, this festival in particular celebrates the Caribbean Cultures that reside within. It is amazing to know this festival has been around for forty-three years, that’s crazy! Kind of ironic I mention California’s “Prop 8” in my Pride Toronto Editorial the day prior to the judge announcing their decision. Back to the point, like Pride Toronto why is it that such large festivals that generate so much flow into the economy in such a short period of time don’t have the governments full support. Caribana brings in over $300 Million and yet they have to fight so hard for funding. But they are so quick to hand out millions to festivals that generate less than half and are lesser known. Caribana is the largest festival of it’s kind in North American drawing over a million people this year. Being in the front lines I agree there was definitely more than a million people, Yonge Dundas Square had thousands of people roaming the streets until the crack of dawn after the parade. Caribana is to Toronto as Mardi Gras is to New Orleans.
Scotiabank Caribana is three weeks of Caribbean festivities, kicking off July 15th ending August 2nd. The major parade was held on Saturday July 31st starting at Exhibition Place where they had a pageant of sorts, judges evaluating the different costumes and performances. The parade went along Lakeshore Blvd which was closed off for the festival. The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of organization on the day of the parade, we basically had to guess where the media entrance was and once there, the security guy clearly didn’t understand English or could read “media” on my media pass! After several circles and reruns everyone we talked to pointing to the same entrance, I finally had enough of that bullshit. I cussed him out, told him I would bring his boss when I came back if he liked. The icing on the cake was when some random without a pass came walking out of the “restricted” area just a few minutes into this argument. I gave him the dirtiest look and seriously almost to the point where I was about to give him a straight punch in the face, I grew up in the rough neighbourhoods of Scarborough “Scar-Town” a suburb of Toronto. This larry was pushing my serenity levels. I kept the peace and had an amazing time after finally being where I needed to be, getting coverage.
- The colours and costumes were incredible, women, men, children of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities took part, the sun was shining brightly. No drama other than the security incident and a girl we saw passed out from heat stroke. Not at all prepared for the festivities, so much going on not enough time to dedicate to the three weeks of Caribbean fun. I didn’t even get to try any doubles or jerk chicken, still craving doubles! I do plan on returning next year, who knows maybe I’ll be in the parade with a wicked mas costume and this time I’m going to make time to try the food.
Thank you once again to Mikey Sin for taking some fantastik photos.