It happened Saturday in Malvern (Scarborough)
Junior Carnival Parade Gets Adult Carnival Sized Numbers
By Stephen Weir
The rain held off, the junior revelers wore beautiful costumes and the Junior Carnival Parade and Family Day notched the largest audience ever. The annual kiddies parade and family fair was held Saturday in Malvern and organizers are reporting a record turnout of spectators.
“ We had about1, 800 children playing Mas on Saturday,” event organizer Eric Delfish told the Caribbean Camera. “In terms of spectator numbers, it could be more, but, I am going to stick with pegging it at 20,000 people. It was the largest turnout with many impressed first-timers coming out to cheer on the kiddies.”
The parade kicked-off at 11am Saturday morning with an official opening ceremony at the Malvern Community Centre. Toronto Mayor John Tory had the help of many Federal, Provincial and civic leaders to cut the ribbon and get the kids as young as 2-years old, out on the road.
Among the dignitaries helping launch the event was Provincial Ministers Raymond Cho and Lisa MacLeod, MPP Vijay Thanigasalam and Councilor Neethan Shan. Minister Cho made a point of publically praising Eric Delfish for his efforts each year in organizing the event.
The five-hour parade traveled from the Malvern Park on Neilson Road to Neilson Park. Each Mas Camp passed in front of the judging stand at the terminus of the parade. It was Mas-on-the-Move, and the bands were judged on their costumes and their jump up style as the trooped past. First place honours went to Carnival Nationz. The Saldenah Mas-K Club came in second and Venom Carnival took third place.
“ While it rained in other parts of the city, not a drop of rain fell on the masqueraders,” continued Mr. Delfish. “The stage show after the parade was awesome, The Neema Children Choir from Uganda were GREAT. They did a joint performance with the cast of the Junior Calypso Showcase fittingly singing "For the Love of Calypso".
Also taking place at the Family Fair was a competition to settle once and for all (at least for this year) who is Canada’s top junior jerk chef! Grace Foods put $1,500 on the line for young cooks between the ages of 9 and 15 to compete for in their Junior Chef Culinary Competition,
“This is always a really great experience for kids who have a love of food,” said Prize coordinator Petronilla Marchan. “This is all about learning how to create tasty dishes using nourishing Caribbean ingredients. “
The sky was the limit on what the junior chefs decided to BBQ outside on Saturday with three caveats – the recipe had to include coconut water and at least one Grace jerk product. And finally, the dish had to be cooked on an outdoor grill in front of an audience of hungry kids and four of Toronto’s top professional chefs.
This year the jury was lead by Chef La-toya Fagon Head Judge and included celebrity chef and TV personality Rob Rainford, food expert Laura Brown; and Fredrick Alexander, head chef for Tropicana Community Services.
All the children who took part in the contest received prizes. The top award of $700.00 went to Adrian Amsterdam, second place honours ($500.00) went to Tayvia Fernandes and Bianca Watier won a $300 third prize.