In about two weeks, the scent of jerk chicken and the tinny strains of steelpan will fill the hot summer air as Caribana kicks off.

But according to organizers, Caribana has fallen short on government funds this year and the festival still needs to scrape together about $100,000.

“Other than Year 1, this has been the toughest year ... strictly based on the funding issues,” said Caribana chair Joe Halstead, who has helmed the festival since 2006. “We’re not in dire straits, we’ll meet our obligations whatever they are. (But) there will be less than last year.”

Halstead insists Caribana won’t run a deficit but said the festival has been hardest hit in terms of its ad budget, which is where the bulk of last year’s marquee funding went. Some big-name acts also couldn’t be secured this year.

But publicist Stephen Weir said festival-goers won’t notice a difference in quality. The savings will be discreet, taking the form of recycled T-shirts or smaller stage sizes at Saturday’s Caribana children’s parade, he said.

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