Festivities include 16 mas bands and hot celebs
Tannis Toohey/ Torstar News Service
The parade that everyone has been waiting for is finally on its way. Caribana, now called The Toronto Caribbean Carnival Caribana (TCCC), will be holding its 2006 CarnivalParade, “Jewel in the Crown,” on Aug. 5 at 10 a.m. at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds. One of the largest in North America, the parade runs along Lakeshore Boulevard for 3.6 kilometres.
The festivities push forward with a showcase of 16 flamboyant masquerade bands and 10 steel bands strutting and playing mas (masquerading) in front of an estimated one million people.
People will be feeling hot, hot, hot with the 30 C and sunny forecast, so fete-goers should drink lots of fluids, have the sunblock handy, and keep on dancing.
Music is the focus of this annual parade (now in its 39th year) and the best calypso, soca and steelpan will be pumping from all of the bandstands. Trinidadian singers David Rudder and Destra Garcia will be bringing their musical talent straight from the Caribbean.
Parade-goers should also remember to bring a camera — hot celebrities will be attending this year. NBA stars Jamal Magloire and Vince Carter, and Rap music mogul Jay Z will be making appearances, so self-proclaimed paparazzi should keep an eye out for their favourites on Caribana floats.
Steve Weir, publicist for the TCCC, says that this parade is the biggest yet with sponsors like Rogers Canada and OMNI Television donating $1 million for advertising and promotion.
“We have over 1,000 volunteers helping with the festivities and lots of great organizations helping out this year,” says Weir. “People should go to the parade with a sense of humour and have fun. It’s a great expression of the diverse flavour of the Caribbean islands and Toronto — it covers all races.”
Succulent Caribbean dishes are also attracting the crowds this year. Expect to see traditional foods like savoury barbecued corn cobs, curried meats, rotis and jerk chicken.
The multicultural festivities and food aren’t the only things that will make temperatures rise this Caribana, the parties planned will keep you jumping. These events offer party animals the chance to show off their moves in nightclubs and boat cruises across the city. Dress codes are strict and prices can get a little steep. The Official Hot 97 and BET Party at the Guvernment Nightclub at 132 Queens Quay E., is expecting 3,000 guests at $60 a pop (as tickets are sold the price increases — up to $80).
If you’re looking for a more low-key way to wind down your Caribana weekend, try a nice family day out at Olympic Island on Aug. 6 and 7, from 12 to 8 p.m. You can get there by heading to the Toronto Island Ferry.
for more information
• Log on to www.wejumpinghigher.comor call 1-888-49 FETES.