- Soca 2019! -

Monday, July 30, 2012


Despite organizers best efforts, they have not been unable to secure a suitable alternative venue for a parade in Barrie.
We have been to Caribfest in Barrie for the last four years. In the first few years, I felt really welcome, like they were happy to have us. We paraded through downtown and ended up in beautiful Centennial Park. Last year, I felt a little less welcome with the route starting within sight of the lakeshore and ending at the park, but I had a great time anyway.
It was a little surprising to me that the necessary permits were not granted for the parade or the festival at Centennial park. I read in the Caribbean Camera that one of the factors considered was the consumption of alcohol in public areas and the policing of such behavior.
This is really unfortunate, especially considering the festival draws a more family oriented crowd, often with everyone from grandparents to little kids. The crowds are small and manageable (with little need for police intervention apart from traffic control), and I haven’t witnessed or heard of any problems occurring.

Below is a press release for the remaining events.

See the Caribfest Caribbean Costumes on Sat Aug 25, Kerr Park, 130 Beaumont Drive, Bracebridge, Ontario starting at 1:00 PM
Barrie Caribfest 2012 Schedule of Events
Thur Aug 16 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Hot n Spicy
Details Coming Soon
Fri Aug. 17 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Welcome to the Caribbean
Army Navy & Air Force Club, 7 George St, Barrie, ON
Adm $5
Fri Aug. 17 9:15 PM – Midnight
Caribbean Boat Cruise
Serendipity Princess, Barrie, ON
Adm: $20 advance Groups of 6 $15 each advance Door $25
Sat Aug18 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Caribbean Showcase – Featuring Soca/Calypso Super Star CRAZY
Army Navy & Air Force Club, 7 George St, Barrie, ON
Adm: $5
Sat Aug 18, 9:30 PM – 2:00 AM
Rupee in Concert (plus 5 of Toronto’s top DJs)
West 46, @ 46 Dunlop St West, Barrie, ON (Formerly Roxx Night Club)
Special Adv. $20
Sun Aug 19 1PM – 6PM
Caribbean Steel Extravaganza Hosted by Canadian Federation of Steel Pan
West 46, @ 46 Dunlop St West, Barrie, ON (Formerly Roxx Night Club)
Adm: $5
Caribfest 2012 Media Update
Unfortunately we did not receive a permit to have the parade in Barrie for the 2012 Barrie Caribfest. A permit was also not granted for us to use city owned Centennial Park to hold Caribfest. We tried to find an alternative outdoor location for the parade and the event but although there was interest from a number of possible venues they were already booked for other events on the date that Caribfest is scheduled to be held this year. In light of the fact that so many people had already booked time off for vacation and reserved hotel rooms we have decided that rather than cancel the event we would move it indoors. This means that visitors can still come to the city and enjoy all the activities and support the many tourism related businesses that operate within the region. We encourage you to see your visit to Barrie this year as an opportunity to discover and enjoy the many tourism attractions that make this region one of the most beautiful and exciting in Ontario. The local hotel and tourism businesses will welcome you. Please remember to tell them that you came to Barrie because of Caribfest.
You can find a comprehensive list of local tourism attractions at Tourism Barrie’s website: http://tourismbarrie.com/things_to_do.aspx
Although we will not have access to the Barrie waterfront we still have a full four days of Caribbean events that is sure to help you experience some of the sights, sounds and tastes of the Caribbean that Barrie Caribfest has become known for providing. This include the appearance for the first in the region of pop super star, Rupee, famous for the song “tempted to touch” and many other well known hits. Soca/Calypso artist Crazy will also be at the event this year headlining the Caribbean Show at the ANAF, located at 7 George Street, Barrie. We will also be hosting the first steel pan extravaganza with the appearance of six national steel pan groups at the West 46, formerly the Roxx Night Club on Sunday August 19.
Despite our best efforts we know that many people will be missing not seeing the beautiful costumes. We have a solution for that problem. On the following weekend, Aug 25 – 26 we will hold the 3rd Annual Reggae Muskoka Festival at Kerr Park, 130 Beaumont Drive in Bracebridge, Ontario. This year we will have many of the beautiful Caribbean costumes in a parade display in the park. The focus of the parade will change as we explore the artistic aspects of the beautiful costume creations and experience the stories they tell in their themes. You can find more information about Reggae Muskoka at www.reggaemuskoka.com
Thank you for your support of the events. We look forward to seeing you at the Indoor Barrie Caribfest and the Outdoor Reggae Muskoka.
For further information please email: info@caribfest.ca


Lesley said...

Nuff said! *two thumbs down*

CarnivalVincy said...

Very unfortunate. Hopefully things are restored and in place for 2013.

Karabana said...

This is just miserable news, not only for us masqueraders, but for all the people who would have come to Barrie for Caribfest.
What, it was more trouble than it was worth? (drinking in a parking lot vs revenue to the city)
I know the organizer was publicly warning people attending not to drink openly (outside) as it's against the law. The city obviously received complaints & police were said to start giving out tickets. Fine, that's acceptable. I don't see why they didn't go ahead with that plan. ??? The city should have given Caribfest a chance to "clean up it's act" this year rather than ditch it.
They segregated us to their Lakeshore last year, no more parading through the streets (like a proper parade), & now this, not allowing us.
This just seems to me that the city of Barrie doesn't want an outdoor West Indian event.

Anonymous said...

I getting a feeling that Carnival this year 2013, there might be the same issue. Or maby the city counsul will realize how no roadmarch put so much of a dent into barrie tourisim, and let the roadmarch happen this year 2013, that would be a suprize... -__-

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