Culture / Talk of the Town

Party with Caribana

Published 08/02/2013 by

This weekend two of Canada’s biggest parties go head-to-head. In the right corner wearing jean cut-offs, Wayfarers and grimy sneakers is Osheaga the biggest outdoor festival in the country.

In the left, wearing fabulous rhinestone encrusted bodysuits, gorgeous feathered headdresses and silky, multicoloured wings is Toronto’s Caribana Festival (officially called Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival), the largest street festival in North America.

Both throw a pretty great party, but if we had to pick one, and we do, we’d go with Caribana. Like the Notting Hill Carnival in London and the Carnival in Rio de Janiero (otherwise known as the carnival to end all carnivals), Caribana is a celebration of  Caribbean culture and has such a joyous, exhuberent mood about it, it’s hard not to get swept up in its greatness.

Not only is it a city wide celebration with awesome food (jerk chicken, yes please!) a completely out-of-this-world parade with super crazy colourful floats and scores of women in completely nuts, absolutely amazing costumes that are so over-the-top they’re often mounted on wheels. But what really seals the deal is the music. From the steel drum bands that play in competition throughout the festival, to the soca blasting from storefronts and the infectious calypso, it’s hard not to want to break out the moves.

Started in 1967, as a gift from the city’s Caribbean community to the city of Toronto to celebrate the country’s 100th anniversary, over two million people attending the festival each year. Which just goes to show how much of a rollicking good time people are having at Caribana.

You can get in on all the fun this Saturday, August 3 when the Parade hits the streets at 10 a.m. all you need to bring is your brightest bling and your dancing shoes.

-Call It Spring Team

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