North America's largest Caribbean Carnival returns to Toronto this summer

Jun 30 2022, 6:51 pm

North America’s largest cultural celebration is returning to in-person events around the city in a big way.

Now in its 55th year, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival brings back a three-week cultural explosion of music, cuisine, and revelry, as well as visual and performing arts.

The festivities kick off with an official launch party on July 7 at Nathan Phillips Square. Attendees will discover the lineup of this year’s event, as well as enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, and more.

A highlight of this year’s festival is the new children’s programs at Scarborough Town Centre (STC), described by organizers as the heart of Toronto’s Caribbean community.

“Toronto has a uniquely authentic Caribbean culture that stands out across North America, and Scarborough is at the heart of Toronto Carnival,” said Mischka Crichton, festival manager of Toronto Caribbean Carnival in a release. “The Mas camps where costumes are created have always been held in this region because so many people with West Indian roots live and work here. These events are important to preserving our culture and heritage and nurturing the next generation of Mas players.

“Bringing Carnival to STC is important to engaging the families and children who are integral to keeping this tradition alive.”

 

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STC will host the popular Toronto Carnival Junior King and Queen Showcase on Sunday, July 10, and its Centre Court will be decorated to reflect Toronto Carnival themes throughout the month.

“We’re proud to partner with Toronto Carnival and host events that connect and celebrate the culture and history of this region’s population,” added Ryan Da Silva, general manager, Scarborough Town Centre in a statement. “Kiddies for Mas will attract wider audiences looking to get a taste of Toronto Carnival. Creating a gathering place and focal point at STC promotes this vibrant community to everyone who visits STC.

“This is one of Toronto’s most iconic celebrations and it is so meaningful to anchor elements of it in the community that contributed to its current format.”

The main event of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival is the Grand Parade on Saturday, July 30, and this year the party is happening in its new home on the Exhibition Place Grounds.

Celebrate with over 10,000 masqueraders in the day-long event, with amazing live performances, food and drinks, vendors, and more at Lakeshore Boulevard W, the Exhibition Grounds, and Hotel X Toronto.

And there’s lots more to see and do throughout the four-day celebration on Emancipation Day weekend from July 28 to 31, so make sure to stay hydrated, wear your brightest colours, and have fun! More information about all Toronto Caribbean Carnival events can be found online.

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival

When: July 7 to 31, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Events will take place around GTA
Cost: Free and ticketed events. More info online.

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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