Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade Makes Triumphant Toronto Return | TBEN News

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Saturday morning brought sights, sounds and color to Lake Shore Avenue and Exhibition Place as the Caribbean Carnival Grande Parade returned triumphantly to Toronto.

The parade is celebrating its 55th anniversary after the pandemic forced cancellations in both 2020 and 2021. According to the event’s website, “the Caribbean tradition of parading down the street was established in celebration of freedom and emancipation from slavery.”

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“I feel pumped up, I feel excited,” said Chancois Christopher, one of the attendees. He said he had waited a long time for the event and was looking forward to tapping into his culture.

“We haven’t been able to do it for so long,” he said.

Chancois Christopher says he has been waiting a long time for the event and is looking forward to tapping into his culture. (Michael Charles Cole/Radio Canada)

Thousands lined the parade route, including Toronto Mayor John Tory and federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

“Carnival holds a very special place in the hearts of many Canadians and Torontonians,” said Singh, who said he was excited to “jump up,” a form of dancing that takes place during Carnival.

“We’re better off coming together,” Singh said.

“Carnival holds a very special place in the hearts of many Canadians and Torontonians,” said federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who attended the Grande Parade. (Michael Charles Cole/Radio Canada)

Tiffany James, who is Trinidadian, has always wanted to take part in the parade.

“Carnival is a big part of the culture,” she said.

James and her friend Elizabeth Jones woke up at 5am to get their costumes ready. Jones said she expects the event to be “pretty wild” after two years of pandemic closures.

Both Jones and James are part of Toronto Revelers, one of the mas bands taking part in the parade. Organizers expect 10,000 masquerades to participate in the event.

Elizabeth Jones, left, and Tiffany James, right, are part of Toronto Revelers, one of the mas bands taking part in the parade. (Michael Charles Cole/Radio Canada)

The parade lasts until 8 p.m. and is expected to attract a large crowd.