Junior Carnival Parade all part of Scotiabank Caribana

Driving down Yonge Street on Saturday night, heading for the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the new location for the Soca Monarch competition. I was running late, I had been at the Junior Carnival (Kiddies Parade)all day and was not expecting to be interviewed.

Its reporter Jasmeet Sidhu from the Toronto Star, -- Toronto's biggest newsaper had not covered the parade. Other papers had. Reporter interviewed me, and the story below appeared on line an hour or so later. Appeared in print this morning. Posted the story not because I was interviewed, but, because they were in need of a photo ... I sent them one I had taken early in the day.

Caribana's Junior Carnival lights up Jane and Finch
Jul 18, 2009 08:35 PM
Jasmeet Sidhu
Staff Reporter

They danced, they laughed, their glittered costumes sparkling in the afternoon sun.

The Jane and Finch area was the scene of jubilant festivities and the bright colours of the Caribbean as the annual Junior Carnival took to the streets Saturday afternoon.

More than 1,500 kids and 5,000 spectators flooded the Jane and Finch area for the annual parade, where kids danced, sung, and revelled down the streets in full costume like their adult counterparts will on Aug. 1.

Nicknamed the "Kiddie Parade", the festival is held two weeks before the Caribana parade and is designed as a rite of passage for younger masqueraders hoping to one day march in the Caribana when older.

"It gives kids a taste of what it's all about. It ensures survival of the parade by passing it down to children," spokesperson Stephen Weir said.

And they do start early, from babies in strollers adorned with feathers and glitter, to tweens in bright elaborate costumes not too unlike those of the Caribana parade.

The parade, which features similar masquerade or 'mas' camps, began at Shoreham Rd. and ended at Yorkgate Mall, where free food and a steel drum orchestra greeted parade-goers.

The significance of holding the parade in the Jane and Finch area was not lost on organizers, with the bright colours and jubilant children providing a refreshing scene for a neighbourhood often painted by negative circumstances.

"Jane and Finch is not only a technically great place to hold a parade, but the parade shows it's a really great place," Weir said.

"A lot of the kids in the parade live in the neighbourhood, and they also want to show it's a nice place to live."


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