By Stephen Weir
As the anticipation builds for the Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s highly anticipated grand parade, the spotlight is also shining on the upcoming July 22nd kiddies parade, a beloved tradition that celebrates the young participants and offers a glimpse into the vibrant world of masquerade.
With the aim of fostering a sense of camaraderie and introducing children to the rich traditions of carnival, the Saldenah Carnival’s annual kiddies launch is set to take place on Sunday, May 28th at 280 Consumers Roab unit 344 in Scarborough.
Hayden Harbin, Saldenah Carnival’s organizer, emphasizes the significance of the kiddies parade, stating, “the kiddies parade is just as important as the grand parade that the big kids take part in. They are the parade’s future.”
Harbin encourages parents to bring their children to the free mas camp launch this Sunday, where they can experience the magic of carnival firsthand. From the dazzling costumes to the BBQ food and live pan music, the kiddies launch will be a day filled with excitement and friendship.
Reflecting on the overwhelming response to last year’s event, which saw an attendance of 700, Harbin says that the Saldenah camp is ready — this year’s kiddies launch is prepared to accommodate even more families.
It all kick off in front of the Saldenah Carnival mas camp headquarters, where a kiddies costume show will showcase 12 sections and approximately 70 children donning their vibrant costumes and taking to the cat walk. The show is scheduled to begin at 2:00pm.
After that, the organizers have arranged for a parade around the building, giving the young participants an opportunity to immerse themselves in the carnival experience. To add to the excitement, there will be outdoor BBQ, an ice cream truck, and more music to keep the festivities going throughout the rest of the day. Harbin affirms that the event is completely free of charge, ensuring that families can fully embrace the celebration without any financial burden.
The kiddies launch also marks the opening of kids’ registration for the junior parade this summer. Parents and guardians will have the chance to sign up their children for the junior parade immediately after the model show. This ensures a smooth registration process and allows families to secure a spot for their little ones in the highly anticipated junior parade.
Doors to the event will open at 1:00pm, giving attendees ample time to explore the costumes on display at the mas camp and engage with section leaders who will be available to answer any questions. The costume presentation will commence at 2:00pm and will probably end at 3:00 pm.
The Saldenah Kiddies launch is a testament to the dedication and commitment of Saldenah Carnival in preserving and passing on the carnival spirit to future generations. By immersing children in this cultural celebration, the organizers hope to inspire a love for masquerade and foster a sense of pride in the vibrant traditions that have defined carnival for generations.