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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Juniors sure showed us how to play mas!

 Junior Carnival 2012 at Downsview Park

Congratulations to Toronto Revellers for wining Band of the Year! Very well done. I was quite impressed with their Indian Bollywood inspired costumes. Every year, their costumes seem to get better and better, more elaborate and intricate, and certainly representative of the band theme.
We also heard that Tribal Knights took both the Junior King and Queen titles (unofficial results) So big up to Dexter and his crew also. (as soon as we find the rest of the results we will post them.)

The scorching sun and long wait time didn't stop the kiddies from showcasing their mas and parading through Downsview and the adjacent vacant John Drury Drive (which has former base housing).

Holding it at Downsview should have made sense. Looking at the map, and seeing it all setup at 9 am, I figured well, there's plenty of space. The "ribbon cutting" began at 11:00, finished 30 minutes later, and the first band was on the route by noon. But once the first bands did their loop, they were stuck at the end of the parade route, which is also near the assembly area (the beginning), only to be left to wait to cross the bridge and get into the park with the family activities. Gridlock was definitely a problem with the parade. The 5th band, Tribal Knights, was still at judging at 1 p.m. There were 13 bands. Imagine that long wait for the wee ones.

I also noticed the Kings, Queens and Individuals had quite a bit of time at judging, as did every section. Perhaps a time limit for bands should be tried, considering who the masqueraders are: young, and therefore they get tired and cranky quicker, especially in the humidity, with very little shade.

It was a rather odd feeling parading around John Drury Dr. since the houses were empty. One band leader accurately called it a ghost town. The spectators were only set up inside Downsview.
I missed seeing all the spectators cheer the children on along Jane St.  

The park certainly was big enough though, with plenty of room for the food vendors, the huge stage, assorted tents, and big sponsor Chevrolet (GM).

Parking looked to be plentiful, but many selfish drivers wanted the prime spots, so they inconsiderately made their own parking spot. Obviously many people didn't give a rats a$$ and parked directly behind cars, blocking them in. Yes. Come on, think about if that was you stuck there and you had an emergency! STEUPS!!!! Bad kharma, as this is now bound to happen to them.

So what did you think of holding the parade at the new location? I'm curious to know what the bands, adults walking the parade with their kids, and spectators thought.

Junior Carnival Band of the Year
1) Junior Revellers - The Jungle Book meets Bollywood
2) Carnival Nationz - Empires
3) Tribal Knights - Candyland

Junior Carnival Queen of the Bands
1) Celena Seusahai - Skittlez - Tribal Knights - Candyland
2) Kai Lewis - Queen Elizabeth 1 - Lil' Nationz - Empires
3) Chania Cunningham - At the Temple of Shiva - Junior Revellers - The Jungle Book meets Bollywood

Junior Carnival King of the Bands
1) Malik Adams - Willie Wonka - Tribal Knights - Candyland
2) Keishaun Ewing - Predator - Fantazia International - Wonders of the Enchanted Forest
3) Demeko Minott - Tonatiuh, Aztec Warrior Sun God - Lil' Nationz - Empires

Junior Carnival Female Individual
1) Desiree Pennant - Peafowl in the GardenFantazia International - Wonders of the Enchanted Forest
2) Caneisa Edwards - Cotton Candy FairyTribal Knights - Candyland
3) Reeyana Singh - Flamenco DancerLil' Nationz - Empires

Junior Carnival Male Individual
1) Aaron Degraff - Mystical CreatureFantazia International - Wonders of the Enchanted Forest
2) Deon James - Trust in MeJunior Revellers - The Jungle Book meets Bollywood
3) Jaden Nelson - MatadorLil' Nationz - Empires

I took the results from http://www.decocoapanyol.com/ 


Lesley said...

I know this parade was for the Kids but I HATE the changes to that route, Ugghhhhhhhh!

To go down the military housing area, was not cool. Nobody didn't know much about it to line up to see these children and their costumes. Very disappointing! And to be stuck to wait for the another bands to past their point was NOT well thought. Another disappointment. If we weren't stuck for awhile then the parade would have been shorter then Jane street.
If I had my way, they should bring it back to Scarborough, when it start at Thompson Park and end at Civic Centre. Those were the days.

Anyway, my daughter played with Revellers, Jamaal enterained those kids while being stuck by encouraging them to jump up, wine up and palance, LOL. It was great see them having fun.

Not too long I just got back from TO Reveller Kiddies Blocko to celebrated the win. The show went on despite the rain, it was brought indoor. They went around in the building and seeing the rain hold up it continue on outside in the front on to the street by the mas camp and went around to the back of the building parking lot. It was great!

Congrats again to Jamaal n the Mini Revellers for Band of the Year 2012!

Anonymous said...

I agree with that yes it was a good idea to end the kiddies parade in a park but it was not well executed and as a parent with 3 kids in the parade and to see barely any spectators watching because i didnt even know where we were muchless those who wanted to come out and see the parade would know where to go and yes i agree as well it should be brought back to scarborough that was the best route! im not saying the kids need a long route becuase they are kids and do get tired quickly but this years parade for the kids and myself was very disappointing and to top it off, my kids couldnt really play mas because there were so many "invaders" coming in and i couldnt let them have fun and jump up wit their friends as i could barely see them with all the non-parents and invaders so my experience this years was very poor and they either bring the parade back to scarborough or bring it back to jane street.

yeayeabe said...

The kids had a blast!! The waiting time is a bit much with the heat we have been having but such a wait is only expected which is why we choose to ignore the memo to make sure our kids were at Downsview for 9:00. If anyone was actually there at that hour I have no idea how they survived the day (guess it depends on the age of the “kiddies”. I think the venue was great and being the first time they will have to revisit the parade route for next year. Personally we did not experience the gridlock only because after waiting so long to cross the judging point once we passed and went onto John Drury Drive we elected to find some shade and watch the rest of the band pass and then headed to the stage/family fun day area to meet back up with the band (which we never did and now hearing of the gridlock I know why.)

The only complaint I have is that it was hard to find the section in the band – when we finally did find the “section” there was a total of 4 kids (2 of which were mine). To me this was a little disappointing ONLY because during the 2 hours we spent waiting to reach the judging point the section in front of us must have had 20 plus little girls whom my girl wanted to go run and dance with and those who are “in charge” and take this responsibility a little too seriously keep telling her she couldn’t go there. I understand that we have to be divided into sections for judging purposes and we are very respectful of mas but this was a little uncalled for when we are dealing with children and we are waiting hours in the hot sun to get to the judging point, I can assure you I would of never let her run amongst them as they crossed the stage. Next year I guess I will have to find out the numbers in the sections before I register my kids to avoid this kind of disappointment for them. Oh and to the lady who grabbed my kid and tried to remove them, I remained calm for the sake of the children, but I advise you not to do that next year (or in front of my husband!!) - wearing a band t-shirt does not give you any right to conduct yourself in such a manner.

All in all it was a great time and a wonderful way to expose the kids to the culture. We played with Toronto Revellers ads we did last year and as we will next. The costumes themselves are well put together and detailed and Jamaal’s customer service has proven to be exceptional.

Anonymous said...

my kids played with toronto revellers and i must say it was a great experience...the route if organized better can be a great location

Anonymous said...

wait nah...Saldenah aint win nothing? flickin ass ah playin with d losin team this year awa?

Anonymous said...

Congrats to my Jr band Toronto Revellers job well done. 3peat next year 1 down 1 to go, lol about the saldenah comment

Anonymous said...

Its a possiblity WE saldenah might win the grand prade. Lool comment killed me tho. I think its between nantionz and saldenah...as always!

Anonymous said...

I am a very disappointed parent. My child was so hot and tired waiting for things to get underway. So many times she said Mommy and Daddy I think I want to go home. I don't want to wait any more. We kept saying to her that it would be just a bit longer. Thank God we had had better experiences in past years down near Jane / Shoreham. I don't get why they would change things. I know she has said that she really doesn't want to play mas next year. I think it was too much of an ordeal for her.

Disappointed Trini Mom

Latoya said...

I loved that the parade was at Downsview! But I have to agree, the route along John Drury Drive was almost a horrifying (minus the kids and happiness)..it felt like we were on the set of a horror movie looking into all those empty homes.
The only complaint I really have about that day is that the organizers really need to keep things moving. From the start to after the stage..so much standing around waiting. For me it was a little confusing as to what was going on...I had to tell people the parade kept going on after the stage because they were ready to go!
I do like that the Revellers kept the energy up with their kiddies though, noted. :)

Anonymous said...

I had a great time with my son at Kiddies this year. Instead of a rammed parking lot the parade ended in an open field, which is a great idea. I see the potential of this venue but i must agree those empty houses creeped me out.

Anonymous said...

I though that our band was well organized and our section leaders in control. The music was electric and the kiddies looked fantastic in their costumes. However, the parade organization was poor and the planning of the parade route shortsighted. How on earth did the planners think that having the parade loop into itself, thus causing a logjam was a good idea. Anyone with common sense (and who has ever raised children) should know that these kids cannot tolerate more than 1-2 hrs of heat before they become disinterested and cranky. The parade planners basically spoiled what should have been a fun family event.

If the parade planners were part of a company they would all be fired for their incompetence.

I love Caribana and I love playing 'mas. I just hope that I can convince my kids to give the Kiddie Parade another try next year. That being said, if I see no material changes in the planning of the Kiddie parade or the route, I wont bother to try and convince them at all.

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