Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mash it Up!

 Some of the most stylish wedge sneaks were found at Yonge Eglinton Ctr.

As long as I love shoes, I will never grow tired of shoe shopping for Carnival.  
I've happily noticed there are more styles this year to consider for the road, with sneaker wedges being the top consideration, as they can be found everywhere.
(Unless you ordered your boots online by last month, you can't find boots as easily locally as shoes. So in this post, I'm featuring shoes.)   

The stores on Orfus Rd. rarely disappoint, and for a mere 5 bucks, these are a steal!

These were the perfect colour match for my costume, but Suzi had only one pair, and not in my size. sad blinking emoticon
But turns out it was just as well, because I found much better footwear for my costume on Orfus Rd. the same day! true love smiley 

Also $5, and a perfect canvas if you're into decorating.
Winners and Marshalls have colourful and embellished styles that look like Keds or Toms. 

All of these were spotted at Forever 21.

Every year I see masqueraders in sandals or flip flops. I can't help but think it must be your first time, you didn't know, no one told you, so you thought sandals would be alright. But by the end of the day, you realize your mistake. It was your first and last time wearing shoes with 0 support on the Lakeshore.
If you are a newbie, please, take my advice, no open toe shoes. You may start your day off fine in them, but the route isn't on a beach. Think of the amount of people who will step on your feet, so by 6:00, you'll be mashed up and limping back to your car or the TTC. I always see broken sandals or parts of shoes ditched along the side of the road.
If you haven't found footwear yet, don't panic, get shopping! Your favourite stores are bound to have something.
So what are you going with people - boots, sneakers, flats? Where did you get them? If you want to post a brag picture here, email it to me at: 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Junior Carnival!

Today marked the return of Junior Carnival to the Malvern Community. The children and parents came out on mass to play mas, but sadly the weather didn't really co-operate, so there weren't as many spectators as I had expected to see.

The kids were as cute as ever, and they looked like they had a nice time. Neilson Park was all setup with vendors and activity for the children, but I think the rain put a little damper on that.


Junior Band of the Year 2014
1. Carnival Nationz
2. Saldenah
3. Toronto Revellers

Junior King 2014
1. Tribal Knights
2. Saldenah
3. Fantazia

Junior Queen 2014
1. Carnival Nationz
2. Saldenah
3. Tribal Carnival

How was it for your children? There will always be complaints, and people like to compare to Jane St. or Downsview. Aside from the rain though, what was your kids experience like?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Some changes to this years' parade

I know everyone is hoping for our carnival to run smoothly and to always have a better time than we had the year before.
So, I want to share with you some changes that I have heard about for this years parade and request that you chime in with any developments that you know about that I'm not aware of.

1.      Expanded parade route with the CNE.
We are going to be making a full 3.5km parade with about half of that taking place within the CNE. Masqueraders will be able to play their mas unencumbered and be judged within the exhibition grounds before heading out onto the lakeshore for the 2nd half f the parade.
2.      General Admission to the CNE (no seating) is reduced to $5 per person.
You see, the organizers do listen to us. This is a price drop from $20 last year. There is also a family pass of $20 for 5 people. Bleacher seating is available for $20 per person. If you have to ask how much are the cabanas…. Anyway, they are $100 per person, $950 for 10 and $30 for kids.
3.      There will be lots of Caribbean food available within the CNE grounds.
 Last year, many guys who paid for bleacher seating, cabanas or general admission into the CNE complained that they had to walk long distances to find Caribbean food on sale. This year I heard from the person in charge of hospitality and she assures me that the air will be filled with jerk and curry aromas. 
4.      Mas on the Move (2nd  judging point)
This was described to me as a special and separate cash prize to be judged near the beginning of the parade. The idea is to give the bands an incentive to get things moving on time. It’s supposed to be a judging point but not a stage where you stop and cause traffic jam while preparing your time consuming dance presentations and so on. You just file by this area on time and you could win a prize.
5.      Pan will be at the back of the parade.
For years some bandleaders have been blaming the steelbands for contributing to gridlock and slowing down the parade. So, this year you can't blame the pan because they have been bumped to the back of the parade. I find it hard to believe that they are a major issue... yeah, they take time, but, I wonder how big of an impact this will have. I fear that no steelband will make it onto the road before the 6pm deadline. You can’t blame steel bands for the 2 hour gap between the last guest band and the first big band going down the road.
I do think that masqueraders have to take some responsibility here. If all of the masqueraders are in the band, in their section and ready to play mas at 10am, nobody would get locked in the CNE. It's a competition, the band isn't crossing a stage until 95% of their band is present and in their sections.
So, please masqueraders, especially if you are playing with Toronto Revellers in position 1, if you go out and fete for J'ouvert, make every effort to reach in your band as early as possible.
6.      Truck skirting.
This year all trucks will be inspected and issued with a safety certificate to ensure that their wheels are properly skirted. Without this certificate, the police will not let you enter the Lakeshore.
They also claim that they are limiting the number of permits issued to support vehicles allowed on the route… I hope this is true, as they have too many knuckle heads in minivans who feel they are playing a critical role to the parade. Just because the band leader is your nephew, doesn’t mean you need to drive your minivan in the parade with some water and macaroni pie in the back. We get it, you are with the band.
7.      No more wee-wee trucks.
Now, this is supposed to be a safety issue. They have decided that they will distribute porta potties along the parade route inside the fenced off area. So masqueraders aren’t having to jump the fences to find a bathroom, or trying to climb onto moving trucks to use the bathroom. This sounds like a good idea, but I could see band members being upset when they are queuing up to use a washroom along with a bunch of stormers who should be behind the barricades.
8.      This brings us to the stormer issue, I haven’t heard of any new development that is worth repeating. I did hear about double fences at some point, but nothing that I really understood. If anyone knows something, I’d love to hear about it.

Well, although we don’t always see all of the changes that are made every year, there is a group of administrators who tirelessly try to tweak the operations to improve the festival. It’s a thankless job, so thank you.

If you guys want to share any new initiatives I’m not aware of, or if I got something wrong, please leave a comment and I will update the post

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Caribana Flags and colours Parade pics

Usually, when I am editing photos to put up on the blog, it's after a band launch around 4:30am. I’m sleepy, grumpy and often hungry
Today, I have this silly grin on my face. I’m looking at these pics and I’m just smiling. The kids have this happiness in them that is contagious. I even smile when I look at the little ones who are crying.

Caribana Flags and Colours had another successful parade and it was a lot of fun. You could tell it was election year, the mayor, John Tory and Olivia Chow all showed up…. insert sarcastic comment here.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Don’t forget, Machel is performing tonight for free at Nathan Phillips square (9:30pm Sharp… This is not Trini time) conduct yourselves accordingly.
Also, The Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade is next Saturday in Malvern. 

Before I forget, If you still haven’t gotten your sheer to waist Mas tights, you can still use your Karabana discount at Toronto MAS tights (click the ad up top for details). Don’t make me have to put up your picture wearing control top panty hose….  I wouldn’t do that to you :) Handle your business

Caribana 2010 slideshow

Mardi Gras, Hamilton

Mardi Gras, Hamilton

J'ouvert 2008!

J'ouvert 2008!

Mardi Gras 2010

Buublenut, Megan & Karabana at Caribana 2007! a7


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