One of the most highly anticipated events during the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is the King and Queen Competition. It is an evening that showcases the design, craftsmanship and innovation of the twelve mas bands as they compete for the title for King of the Bands, Queen of the Bands, and the Female and Male Individual. Held annually on carnival Thursday, the King and Queen competition sets the stage for the display of the beauty and grandeur of mas and revelry that comes to a pinnacle this upcoming weekend at the Grand Parade.
Held at Lamport Stadium, the competition and showcase drew a full house of spectators, whom excitedly waited to see this year’s offering of mas creations from the various bands and designers. The evening competition officially began at about 7pm, with opening greetings from the festival organizers as well as a beautiful performance of the National anthem. This year Chevrolet was the presenting sponsor for the King and Queen competition, while Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) was the entertainment sponsor for the evening showcase.
Following the formal introductions, a performance from Dance Caribe set the tone for this year’s show, which proved to be a night of amazing live and surprise performances! During the intermission, soca artistes Orlando Octave and JW and Blaze graced the stage to perform their popular soca hits. A surprise performance from 2013 Power Soca Monarch winner, Superblue, during Carnival Nationz portrayal for King of the Bands, brought the audience to their feet to the sounds of Fantastic Friday! The Bouncing Start!
Apart from the notable entertainment, the essence of the King and Queen competition is the showcase of mas. If you have never been to the King and Queen competition, picture large elaborate costumes, many spanning over 15 feet high and 15 feet wide, each of which portray a theme. The King and Queen competition is the culmination of months of preparation, where the inception, inspiration and creation of mas is brought to its full fruition.
The individuals selected from each band to portray the King, Queen or Individuals of the band, bring the mas to life as they move, sway and shake the costumes to the sound of soca. Circling the stage using wheels, their feet and in some cases only one’s back to support the mas, these individuals should be commended for not only their showmanship but also for the strength and endurance that is required to maneuver these massive creations.
Congratulations to all the participants!
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