Caribana Toronto parade and photos. The parade is held on a hot, sunny day in June, which makes all the difference to the photos and to the enjoyment of the 'paraders' and spectators.
The parade makes its way from Exhibition Place, just west of the downtown core, and along Lakeshore Boulevard before returning to the start along quieter streets.
The parade and festival began many years ago when the Caribbean community began to re-enact the festivities they remembered back home.
At first the festival was quite small and local but in time it grew to be city-wide and very professionally presented. Today it has large corporate sponsors and is consequently better than ever,
The float you see here, surrounded by matching dancers, was one of the first to set out.
Colour and flamboyance are the overriding aims of every float -- and the associated dancers -- and are often in the national colors of the island the dancers call 'home'.
This sunflower-like float was a bit different in that its purple and red theme certainly stood out from the more usual Caribbean colours of green, gold and blue.
Caribana has become more colorful each year and especially since it has begun to attract large corporations as sponsors.
The sun disk float shimmered with sparkles as it sashayed its way down the boulevard.
The sun is a powerful motif in the Caribbean where it shines endlessly all year round -- and even here in the northern part of the continent when it hides for much of the year:-)
A Monarch butterfly float makes a colorful backdrop and nicely links Canada with the Caribbean.
Monarchs make their way from Mexico to Canada each summer, bringing and taking the hot weather with them.
I've called this float the 'Lion King' but it may have nothing to do with Disney.
It's lion-theme may just be the favourite cat of the builder and owner.
A very far eastern 'Indian' feel to this float, maybe reflecting the many people from the Indian sub-continent who call the Caribbean 'home' nowadays.
The Caribbean Festival is just one of many festivals that brighten Ontario summer weekends and they have the advantage of being free. For more free days out, visit our page here.
A short while after the 'Lion King' float came this 'Scorpion King' one -- Hollywood movies are always a good source of ideas for floats.
The Caribana parade takes place in summer heat so swimsuit costumes are the order of the day. At the other extreme is the Santa Claus Parade where everyone is bundled up in snowsuits.
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