The Spice Necklace Blog

Ann's Blog

Toronto, Canada.:
August 5, 2010
Sun and (Silver) Stars at Caribana

Last weekend was Caribana here – Carnival. We joined the throng of an estimated 1.2 million along the sun-drenched parade route. We ate doubles, trying the offerings of two different vendors (and buying an extra from the one we deemed the best to give to a Trini guy working security, who couldn’t leave his post but was longing for a taste of home). Later, we shared a bake-and shark (“Maracas Beach style,” the sign proclaimed, and it was pretty close – though we missed chadon bene sauce and garlic sauce among its toppings). But a note to the organizers and the city: You really need more trash and recycling cans along the route. The cans were overflowing just a couple of hours into the event; nasty, really nasty. (And, still, people continued to try to do the right thing: Garbage wasn’t strewn everywhere; instead, each can was circled by a mountain of detritus.)

Food aside, two highlights for me. The first was seeing fabulous Jamaican roots-reggae star Queen Ifrica perform at Harbourfront, and watching the crowd – packed from the stage back to the water’s edge – singing along with her powerful lyrics. The second highlight was actually pre-Carnival: the lunchtime performance by the Panorama-winning (two years in a row) Silver Stars Steel Orchestra at Scotia Plaza. (Their Toronto appearances were part of Scotiabank’s Caribana sponsorship.) And for an hour, the usually staid business district rocked. It was great to see so many downtown types introduced to real steel pan, not just the anemic-sound of the typical resort-playing combo. Check it out:

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