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Scotiabank Caribbean festival kicks off in Toronto

Masqueraders show off for judges at the Caribbean Carnival grand parade on a sweltering Saturday afternoon in Toronto. Photos by Robin Grant. 

The Scotiabank Caribana parade in Toronto kicks off every summer with a competition between "mas bands," or masquerade bands. The event is called the Grand Parade.

Each band has a distinctive theme. Some are historical while others are satirical or political in nature. The bands are led through the parade by "kings" and "queens" who are dressed in fantastic costumes.

The sound of calypso, reggae, salsa, soca music and steelpan drumming fills Exhibition Place as parade goers enjoy the lavishly designed, colourful costumes and performances.

Caribana celebrates Caribbean culture. Estimated to draw an international audience of over one million people, the day-long parade continues to be the festival's main attraction.

Festivities begin on Aug. 6 and run until the 12th.


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