The Caribana festivals and parade have been a tourist attraction with sets the stage for a million people to enjoy. It starts off inside the Ex and runs along Lakeshore Blvd and ending at Parkside. Wild and beautifully colored costumes, charged and sometime comedic steelpan music (steel drums) and amazing food from oxtail (don't really like this!) to jerk chicken and rice and peas. This is what the festival conveys.
Over 44 years of celebrations, Toronto and other cities that host the Caribana have seen violence in the past years.
Taken from the Toronto Star Library, Media Reports, Star Files
• July 31, 2005: Dwayne Taylor, 27, dies after a rival gang member fires two shots into Yonge-Dundas Square during a crowded Caribana celebration.
• July 31, 2003: A man is charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and firearms possession after his SUV rams another car during Caribana-related celebrations at Yonge and Gerrard Sts. He had run a red light while fleeing police.
• Aug. 2, 1997: Gary Newman, 22, is shot at point blank range amid a crowd of pre-Caribana revellers on Yonge St. Earlier, a man had been shot in the leg about a block away.
• Aug. 4, 1996: Two Buffalo men in town for Caribana are hit by a single bullet while walking near Yonge and Gould Sts.
• Aug. 3, 1996: Elrick Christian, 23, is shot and killed and three others, including a nurse visiting from Britain, are wounded during the Caribana parade. Three men are also arrested on weapons-related charges after a volley of shots are fired in Marilyn Bell Park, beside the parade route.
• Aug. 3, 1992: A man is stabbed twice in the back on Bay St. as crowds come off the ferry from Olympic Island where the Caribbean Music Festival was held.
• Aug. 1, 1992: An Oshawa man is shot amid the throngs watching the parade on Lake Shore Blvd. W. Police shut down the parade after two officers are assaulted.
• Aug. 5, 1985: A police officer is stabbed and another hit with a beer bottle as violence breaks out among a large crowd during Caribana celebrations on the Toronto Islands.I believe in vigilance, in being aware of the company you keep, and in most importantly in intuition or instinct. I also believe in taking chances and not believing everything that is told to me, especially by the media. If I was to listen to the news, I would never leave my house on most days. These celebrations are precious and few and although I didn't go or participate as I was asked to volunteer, I still think it's should be a welcomed event to Toronto and its just too bad that a few rotten apples, can sometimes cause some people hysteria or to look at the whole tree as spoiled.
Go Caribana, I'll try and catch you next year!