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Ready for Caribana

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by Marlon Bute inToronto

CARIBANA 2005 will bring Toronto alive like never before!

The Caribbean flavored celebrations run from 15th July to August 1st and attracts more than a million revelers each year and injects in excess of 300 million dollars into the Canadian economy.{{more}}

And once again, thousands of visitors from the Caribbean shores are expected to converge on Toronto to take part in the festivities.

CARIBANA is an explosion of pan, mas, calypso, soca and reggae, similar to the popular Vincy Mas.

The festivities will be launched July 15 at the Nathan Phillips square and will be followed the next day with the Children’s carnival at Yorkgate Mall. The young ones will parade beautiful crafted costumes in the junior king and queen sections and will also showcase their lyrical talents.

During the celebrations CARIBANA lovers will also get a chance to support their pick for soca monarch on July 16th, and the ever popular calypso monarch final, a week later, on July 23rd.

Pan Enthusiasts will get their turn to groove to the sweetness of the steel drums on July 29.

According to the official CARIBANA website the festival was given birth by the Caribbean Cultural Committee, a group of Pan – Caribbean academics, students and professionals in 1967, under the name the Caribbean Committee for cultural Advancement, (CCC). It was a response to Canada’s centennial celebration commemorating its diversity and the contribution made to Canada from various cultures.

“What began as an expression of the goals and aspirations of the Caribbean community resident here- that the culture of the Caribbean had pride of place in Canada- has blossomed into the world renowned festival of Carnival arts, CARIBANA.”

CARIBANA will climax on July 30th with a massive parade on Lakeshore Boulevard, characterized annually by a colorful display of flags from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.

And with the coveted Band of the Year title in contention, artistes from Toronto, SVG and the other Caribbean countries are expected to heat up the streets.

CARIBANA will wind down July 31st and August 1st -in fine Caribbean style – on Olympic Island, where thousands will once again flock – to partake in delicious West Indian foods and drinks, intoxicating music and dance and fine crafts and belly bursting comedy, all doused with lively island chit-chat.

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