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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

1 comment:

Kryssy said...

I'm so here for your commentary though! LOLOL. Thanks for the update! =)
p.s. The $5 entry fee for the public and the family pack is FANTASTIC news! My family is headed back to the Lakeshore for our annual lime during the parade this year!!!

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