By Gerald V. Paul
Malvern Town Centre was hopping Monday with 90 kids jumping for joy, ready for Junior Carnival.
The colourful lunchtime media preview vibrated with steel pan, calypso and Mas with a taste of the massive Junior Carnival Parade and Family Day.
In her announcement, Denise Herrera-Jackson, CEO of Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, also noted that Carnival will return to Olympic Island (renamed Carnival Island) for a fun-filled final day experience from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Aug. 2 with live performances, food and arts and crafts for the kids.
“Thanks to the Pan Am Games, people from all over the Caribbean and South America are coming to Toronto for the first time. This year, our Carnival Island tips our hats to our new visitors.”
MPP Bas Balkissoon (Scarborough- Rouge River) thanked those whose hard work goes into the junior event, noting it helps youngsters discover their cultural roots. Councillor Raymond Cho (Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River) brought greetings on behalf of the city.
Among the performers were Jordan Myers and D LYF while the children enjoyed a taste of things to come with a lunch sponsored by Rubini West Indian Groceries and Bed and Bath Boutique gave each child dressed in costume a gift.
The Junior Carnival Parade begins on Saturday, July 18, at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd. The parade will exit onto McLevin Ave., travel west on McLevin then north on Neilson Road and end at Neilson Park, 1575 Neilson Rd.
Judging will take place along the route just prior to the Neilson Park entrance. The fun then shifts to the park as the party continues.
Last Lap in De Park will include popular DJ Music and a junior showcase sponsored by Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes (OCPA). There will be children’s activities, music, a market place with food vendors, arts and crafts vendors and more. The free Junior Carnival ends at 8 p.m.
Junior Carnival Parade and Family Day are an integral part of the three-week Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival. Children as young as six months old may take part in the parade. Any child can take part provided they register and get a costume from a participating Mas band.
On Tuesday, July 7, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at David Pecaut Square at Metro Hall, Carnival will be officially launched with a free event providing a taste of this Caribbean extravaganza, including details of the Aug. 1 Grand Parade.
In a sneak peek, Calvin Taylor, parade operations manager, said the order of appearance for Mas bands in the parade will be: 1. Durham Mass and Recreational Club; 2. D’Regulars Arts and Cultural Club; 3. Fantazia International; 4. Connections; 5. Carnival Revolution; 6. Tribal Carnival; 7.Carnival Nationz; 8.Toronto Revellers and 9. Louis Saldenah Mas-K-Club.