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Grand Caribbean Carnival Toronto Parade 2013
The Pinnacle of Caribbean Carnival Toronto
The hallmark of the entire Caribbean Carnival Toronto is the magnificent annual Caribbean Carnival Toronto Parade (formerly Caribana Parade).
The Parade offers spectators the chance to truly appreciate the Caribbean culture and remains a favourite part of all of the festival's many celebrations.
If you plan on spending any time at all at the festival, this incredible event is one that you will definitely not want to miss.
The several hour long parade continues to be the main attraction of the festival each and every year.
The annual Caribbean Carnival Toronto parade kicks off with an exciting competition between 'mas bands' or masquerade bands as they are also called. Every mas band has their own distinctive theme with some being historical while others are satirical or even political in nature. The bands are led through the parade by 'kings and queens' who are dressed in the most fantastic costumes.
With more than 10,000 dancers in fabulous costumes accompanied by several mas bands, the parade route is completely filled up with feathers, glitter, and plenty of excited spectators. The bands enthusiastically competed for the crowd's applause and for the judge's approval while vying to be named 'Band of the Year'.
The sounds of calypso, reggae, salsa, and soca music as well as steelpan drumming echo Toronto's Exhibition Place as parade goers enjoy with wonderment while performers dance about in their lavishly designed and colourful costumes.
Some of the most talented musicians and performers from all around the world come to the Caribbean Carnival Toronto to perform and delight the crowds.
Since the festival began in 1967 the Caribbean Carnival Toronto parade just seems to be getting bigger and better each year. More than one million people descend on the city of Toronto just to see the Parade.
Some of the most elaborate and intricately designed floats are also proudly displayed in the parade featuring ornate dresses and the most delicate of fabrics along with gorgeous embellishments in festive colors.
Generations of families come together and meet at the Caribbean Carnival Toronto year after year. Attending the parade is said to be somewhat like a rite of passage for many people. Beginning as a celebration of Caribbean culture, many other ethnic groups have now gotten involved in the festival and the parade is renowned all over North America.
Months and months of preparations are involved in putting together and organizing the Caribbean Carnival Toronto Parade and there is also a Junior Carnival Parade to see that is put on by the youngest of performers.
Learning about the diverse cultures who have gathered for years at the Caribbean Carnival Toronto, and for many centuries before that in their own native countries, is one of the absolute best aspects of the whole festival.
Everyone loves a parade, but the Caribbean Carnival Toronto parade holds a special place in the heart of the millions who have experienced the great fanfare for themselves live and in person.
The parade route is approximately four and a half kilometers long and the great event takes ten hours or more from start to finish thanks to all of the wonderful participants.
The Caribbean Carnival Toronto parade remains a must-see event at the annual Caribbean Carnival Toronto festival. And, after the fun of this major event has ended, usually around 8pm, you can be sure there are many more celebrations to enjoy at the Caribbean Carnival Toronto including the grand party that is always held the day after the big parade.
Special Tips for the Caribbean Carnival Toronto Parade
If you plan on attending the parade, here are some useful tips to make your day out as pleasant as possible.
Caribbean Carnival Toronto Parade Tickets
If you want to take advantage of the reserved seating arrangement at the Exhibition Place, tickets are approximately $20 before taxes and are available on the venue only. Be sure to arrive early as seats are limited.
Best Spots to Enjoy the Caribbean Carnival Toronto Parade
I don't recommend any place at the Exhibition Place. The perfect spot to enjoy the parade is anywhere in the middle of the parade route along Lakeshore Boulevard West toward Jameson Avenue. Moreover, it's Free.
In the middle of the route, the masses are in full tilt, and you will not find many non-participating crowd in the bands, which is quite common at the end of parade route. Moreover, you will find many food and beverage vendors, washrooms and other amenities along the Lakeshore Boulevard West. Also, you will be close to the transit stops if you are using transit system to go home.
It is good idea to come early in the morning to get a good spot to seat. As the parade progresses, many people don't prefer to remain stationary and things become bit messy.
Things to Bring for the Caribbean Carnival Toronto Parade
- Wear casual and comfortable clothes and shoes
- Something to seat (blanket and/or chair)
- An Umbrealla (Sun or shine, the Parade is always on)
- Sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, hat
- Someting to read for lull periods in the beginning
- You need lots of water especially if it's hot and humid
- Be prepared to walk a lot
- Leave your car at home and take public transit to reach to the Parade venue
- If you are driving to the Parade venue, arrive early as you will find some road closures and trafic restrictions, especially near Lake Shore Boulevard West. Also, parking is limited.
Caribbean Carnival Toronto Parade - Tourist Information
Venue: Exhibition Place
Parade Route and Map: The Parade begins at the Exhibition Place, moving along Lakeshore Boulevard West and ends at Lakeshore and Parkside drive. It's approximately 4.6km long route.
Below is the map for the Parade route, where A is start point and B is end point.
Parade Date & timing:
For 2013, the Parade is on 3rd August from 10am to 6pm
Price: $20 for reserved seating at the Exhibition Place, Free along Lakeshoure Boulevard West
Transit and Driving Directions:
To go to Exhibition Place, you can take 509 west Harbourfront streetcar from Union Station, 511 south Bathurst streetcar from Bathurst Station or 29 south bus from Dufferin Station.
To get to Lakeshore via Parkside Drive, you can board 41 Keele Express south bus from Keele Station. To get to Lakeshore via Jameson Avenure, take 47 Lansdowne Express south bus from Lansdowne Station.
Hop on the Go train or bus to Union Station in downtown Toronto. From there take 01 Lakeshore west Go train (west bound) which brings you right at the Exhibition Place.
For more information visit www.torontocaribbeancarnival.com