I had the opportunity to travel out to Malvern on Saturday to take in the Junior Carnival Parade. Approximately 2000 kids in some really awesome masquerade costumes take over the streets of Malvern to the pounding beat and sounds of Soca, Steelpan and Calypso music. As I got there the participants were just getting set up getting those final last minute touches and instructions for the parade. This event is meant to give the youngsters a taste of playing mas and not having to take part in the huge day long parade to follow on August !st. The singing of the national anthem, a prayer and a few words from organizers and politicians and it was time to cut the ribbon. It was awesome to see the enthusiasm and joy these kids had for the event. A true celebration of heritage and culture wrapped in incredible colours, sights and sounds. This event has become an integral part of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival which has become a truly international event and the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America. The floats were inspired by many influences from Disney to super heroes and a large contingent even paying tribute to the games and sports currently being held in and around Toronto. It took quite a bit of effort to whittle down the number of shots for this article so my apologies to those I didn’t show but they were all so beautiful, My thoughts were that this day belonged to the kids so most of these shots were of the smiling happy young boys and girls that made it such a wonderful event. Thanks to all 2000 or so young people that took part and many thanks to the parents and organizers for putting on such a terrific event, I know there must have been many many weeks if not months of preparation and sewing and love that went into this. At the end of the parade route each performer and group got to show their stuff to this hard working group of judges. Afterwards a family day fair took place in the park featuring a few speeches, much food and music and much celebration of all things Caribbean and I’m sure a lot more smiles and sunshine. Even an opportunity to learn a bew beats on a steel drum. Many thanks to the many volunteers that were nice enough to make sure everyone had plenty of water and snacks. As always, enjoy Toronto!