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article imageScotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade launch Special

By KJ Mullins     Jul 2, 2013 in World
Toronto - On July 20th the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade will take place at Downsview Park. The family event is just one of many during the month of July that celebrates Caribbean Mas culture. This one could be considered the most important.
Chris Alexander, CAO of the Scotiabank Caribbean Festival, beamed with pride when watching the kids Tuesday at Downsview Park for the media launch of this year's Junior Carnival. Alexander said that Junior Carnival is a very family friendly event. "There is no alcohol at this event but there is so much fun for the families. We have rerouted the parade because of traffic safety concerns. This year will be even bigger than last year!"
Chris Alexander
Chris Alexander
"Last year was our first year at Downsview, and we had some challenges along the route," said organizer Eric Delfish. "Based on what happened last year, and knowing already we are going to have more children in 2013, we have tightened up the route to improve the flow of the parade and provide better viewing for spectators.
This year there are over 2,500 children in mas costumes taking part in the parade starting at 11:00 A.M. After the parade Downsview Park will host the Family Day Event until 6:00 P.M. The event is the largest children’s carnival parade in North America.
150 children were at the media launch showing off their beautiful costumes. The youngest is just 13 days old. Her mother, Thea Jackson, has been a big part of the festival running the True Destiny Mas Camp. (This year Jackson took a break to have her baby)
Toronto s July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage...
Toronto's July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage to kids
Stephen Weir, media spokesperson, said, "Some of the children at today's event are the 4th Canadian generation to take part in the festival."
Toronto s July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage...
Toronto's July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage to kids
What makes the children's parade so important goes beyond the pageantry that takes place on parade day. Each of the children have gone to Mas Camps. There they learn about their heritage, culture and the quest for freedoms that their elders have taken part in.
Toronto s July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage...
Toronto's July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage to kids
Mas celebrations are a big part of island culture. They stem from religious celebrations. Carnival celebrations were created by West African slaves who mimicked their French owners costume balls in Trinidad. The slaves were not allowed to join in during the gala events so in their own quarters they combined their own cultural elements with the lavish parties going on. When slavery ended the former slaves took their own version of Carnival to streets adding music to the mix.
Toronto s July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage...
Toronto's July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage to kids
Alexander said that it is important that today's children understand the roots of their culture and why the Caribbean Festival is more than parties and parades.
Toronto s July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage...
Toronto's July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage to kids
"The heritage behind the Scotiabank Caribbean Festival teaches our children about their culture," Alexander said smiling as he watched the children dance.
Toronto s July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage...
Toronto's July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage to kids
Toronto s July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage...
Toronto's July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage to kids
Toronto s July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage...
Toronto's July 20th Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade brings cultural Mas heritage to kids
More about Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parad, Toronto, Caribana
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