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Annual Toronto Caribbean Junior Carnival 2017

Toronto’s Annual Junior Carnival and traditional heritage showcase, put on by the African Caribbean Community, celebrates fifty years in existence. The Junior Carnival like the grand parade derived from a time of celebration of life and natural freedom, as given by god to all. It serves as an indication to showcase the breadth of creativity and talent in the art of music and elaborate costume designs but more importantly to celebrate some sense of freedom of expression from bondage and oppression.
The Junior Parade was a most upbeat highlight of the weekend. The parade is held annually, two short weeks before the grown folks event, the Grand Parade, which never gets old.  The junior parade used to take place in the Jane and Finch community but has been relocated to Neilson Park in Scarborough the past several years and proves to be a cultural successful all day family event, worth adding to any summer fun agenda for kids. Although it was a bleak day, still it didn’t dampen the spirit, mood or costumes, which have been built to fit all weather conditions.
Everything went on as normal despite the rain and the parade took its usual course, the kids were still parading with glee, because as the soca song Phenomenal goes, “we partying sun or rain” -Benjai.  Junior masqueraders in their regalia danced and paraded through the rain on to their course as expected, living up to a common Caribbean slogan, that, “rain only stops international cricket” or translated in other places to mean, “the show must go on”.  With all the excitement in the air, the music, dancers, stage performers, beautiful costumes and food from all islands, there was something for everyone, but especially for little ones whose time it was to shine.  They wore themed costumes, with well thought out elements of design.  One such featured costume in the junior parade, was traditional mass from the Durham Mass Group, based on the Famous Candy Woman who in 1881 broke free from slavery, then burst out in celebration of her natural right to freedom by adorning herself in brightly coloured clothes and carnival music to celebrate.  Eleven bands with over two thousand young participants to make mass, in celebration of fifty years of carnival in Toronto.

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