I attended Caribana for the first time this summer – and look at me coming here pretending I know all about it. For those of you who don’t know, Caribana is an annual festival that showcases Carribean cultures in the city of Toronto. The carnival usually coincides with the civic holiday in Canada hence the fact that it is always overpopulated in the city of Toronto during that time. This year, the festival celebrated its 50th anniversary. Despite the fact that it was my first time at Caribana, there are a couple things that I wanna share with you about that experience and also as a reminder for me, for next time (smiles).My siblings and a friend of us drove to Toronto the same day to be part of the parade. We only got there around 2 pm while the parade had started around 8 am that morning. We knew it was going to last until 6 pm so we didn’t think we necessarily had to be there when it started. After getting lost in downtown Toronto and spending quite some time on Instagram and Snapchat to find where the crowd was, we eventually arrived at Lakeshore Blvd (where it was all happening) around 3 pm.The parade itself was mad fun. We got to see hundreds of people, mostly women, but men too, of all age, marching in beautiful and very colorful costumes. The music, which is, of course, a huge part of it, was from Caribbean artists and genres. But here is my advice and a few things to take into consideration if you would like to attend Caribana next year:
- Do not bring expensive things or items you care a lot about at the parade. Why? Simply because you may lose them and to find anything in a crowd of people moving and dancing, is simply not an option. True story: I lost my lens cap and my earrings minutes after joining the parade. SAD!
- Bring a bottle of water. No, for real, bring one! It is essential. Okay, maybe I’m overdoing it here. We were so lucky the weather was so pleasant this year but since it’s always at the beginning of August, it can happen to be very dry that day so you wanna make sure you have something to hydrate your body.
- Wear Comfy shoes. Although you’re not going for a marathon, you wanna make sure you are comfy in what you wear, cause you really cannot predict how long you will run. Just because the fun is real.
- Be prepared to the possibilities of losing your voice. Yes, this is real! The music at the parade is way louder than at night clubs because there are many trucks with huge speakers playing soca music all along.
- Wear cool accessories. This, of course, isn’t a must. You get it right? My crew and I had bought scarves that we all wear differently because we thought in case one of us gets lost, it would help us identify each other.
At the end of the day, we were exhausted but the night was still young and the after parade parties had just started. And in case you wanna know, I am planning to go to Caribana next year if I happen to be in the country and I have no doubt about the amount of fun I will probably have. So, wanna join me (insert wink eye emoji)
Thanks for reading!
Til’ next time,
photo credit: caribanatoronto.com