Toronto Caribana Festival is a two-week event held between the middle of July and the beginning of August every year. While there are other world-renowned festivals in Toronto including the Toronto Jazz Festival and Toronto Film Festival, Caribana is one of the biggest and best in town.
The celebration that now draws an estimated 1.3 million people to the shores of Lake Ontario was originally brought to Canada by immigrants from the Caribbean. The Toronto Caribana Parade features music representative of countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, and a number of other West Indian countries. The schedule of Caribana Festival events is always chocked full of exciting things to do for the entire two weeks. The city comes alive for this massive celebration and many of the local clubs and bars cater to the throngs of tourists that come to town specifically for the festival. It is a great time to be in the city as there is a general sense of excitement and a huge variety of exciting things to do and see.
If you are planning to travel to Toronto during the summer, there is so much you could potentially do that you will have your work cut out for you simply planning your itinerary. Events like the Toronto Film Festival dominate in late summer, but the event that is not to be missed in mid-summer is, without a doubt, the Toronto Caribana Festival.
The Toronto Caribana Festival is touted as the largest street festival in the entirety of North America and annually infuses some $300 million of tourist dollars into the local economy. The festival is primarily a celebration of music from the various cultures and countries represented in the Toronto Caribana Parade and other demonstrations and performances. Crowds gather in large outdoor concert venues and around smaller street performances of talented musicians performing steel pan, calypso, reggae, and various other, percussive styles of music. Some of the most popular Caribana Festival events are the drum lines and musical performances of the talented artists represented at the celebration. A huge part of the crowd represents people who are already familiar with this kind of music, while many other people are introduced to these styles for the very first time.
No good street festival would be complete without tons of amazing food and drinks. You will find a wide selection of food all over the festival including many varieties of dishes representative of the cultures of the Caribbean. Besides tons of great food, the local nightlife also steps up and offers something extra during the couple of weeks during which the festival is held. Many nightclubs offer packaged VIP deals where you pay a set amount once, and then are able to get into the club for a number of nights. Many people take advantage of these deals to save money on paying for cover fees every time they go out at night. Some of the best clubs offer these kinds of packages, so depending on where you are staying, look into who has the best deals if you are planning to work some nightlife into your celebration of events like the Toronto Caribana Parade. Do your planning in advance to be sure that you get to enjoy as many of the Caribana Festival events as possible.