Another Caribana has come and gone, and this year it continued to be the colourful, smashing summer event it has always been. Caribana began in 1967, and was originally performed as a gift from Canada’s West Indian community, as a tribute to Canada’s Centennial. Since then it has grown to become the biggest festival of its kind in North America. However, with its growth came some growing pains as well…and this year’s festival was no exception.
Most of the events that ran during the two weeks prior to the Parade of Bands, went smoothly. They started on time and were without incident. The King and Queen of the Bands on Thursday was one of the most beautiful competitions I had ever seen, with Carnival Nationz taking every title. Their King of the Band was spectacular, and unlike anything I have ever seen in competition before. Congrats to the Nationz crew for the sweep.
The same could not be said for the Grand Parade. As a masquerader, I always enjoy myself. The music was bumping, the weather beautiful and the vibes with Carnival Nationz was great. Other large mas bands did not have the same experience though, due to miscommunication (or no communication) about the extended route and the two judging points along the route, many bands did not cross the stage. In the end Carnival Nationz was announced as Band of the Year after a few days deliberation by the Festival Management Committee, but many thought the title shouldn’t have been given to any band. Above all, folks come to lime, wuk up and enjoy the culture and for the most part – the big parade fulfilled that.
As for events, The Main Event with Machel Montano, the Sunday Blocko and Big People Fete were some of the best if twitter and instagram are any indication! Every year the parties get bigger and more numerous, but its usually these old favourites that always come out on top. Next year, the flurry of feathers, colours and sequins will one again hit our city – until then let the tabanca set in….