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Adios Caribana?

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August 8, 2015 by Fensic

Ah tink ah feelin ah change in de air but it cyar be de wedder, is too soon fuh dat. Eef ah right, is time tuh say farewell tuh de Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival. Or, as it still does get call by everybody, Caribana.

De run was nice buh ah does get tired easy now. Ah parsin mih baton tuh dem younger people wid dey boundless energy an no real sense ah how carnival suppose tuh be.

Is not me alone sayin dat. Look at de crowds dem retro bands in Triniland does draw fuh carnival. Doh fuhget Brooklyn an it West Indian American Day ting. Any woman over. . . over some age dat not my responsibility tuh decide, need licks eef she say she playin mas wearin any bra an panties corstume.

So no more Caribana fuh me just because is late July. Buh ah leavin de door crack lil bit tuh go back. Later on what dat mean, it might be obvious doh.

Ah few years ago ah write dis article about Caribana where ah say it in safe hands.

Well Caribana 2015 show dem hands have dey wuk cut out fuh dem.

Since Toronto take over runnin Caribana from whoever was runnin it into de grong, de city makin changes wringin more revenue out from what have tuh be ah top summer attraction. De way I see it, dem changes have ah underlyin assumption dat de event is ah parade.

Any Trini wid sense know carnival not no parade. Yes, bands does go dong de road parade-like buh part ah de enjoyment is crowd participation. Me eh have ah clue eef it possible tuh separate dem two. Nah ah take dat back; dey cyar be separated.

Toronto must be bettin de opposite since ah sure it want tuh continue drawin ah million plus people over dat weekend. Is endless families an groups een dat million number. Dey dere tuh enjoy deyself whilst only payin ah lil bit of attention tuh what happenin arong dem.

Dat number also include all who dey tuh enjoy mas in its splendor, admirin masqueraders revelin like only West Indians does revel. By de way, more Canadians learnin how tuh chip an not look like bachac bitin dem.

Buh it have ah next group ah people who does be at Caribana. People like me who want de freedom tuh move between spectator an participant.

However, de number doh stop Caribana haters from enjoyin deyself eef somebody get dey head buss like eef it possible to have dat amount ah people in one place an somebody eh act dotish.

De challenge Toronto have is satisfyin Caribana lovers, especially de ones who does pay.

As long as Caribana is ah parade, organizers go have challenges or maybe is my high expectations?

What I see dis year does happen every year an every year de city does try an stop it by tweakin tings.

De people who pay dey $20 hopin tuh see bands widout audience participation, was behind ah fence as usual. Some put up lil tents buh most was sittin dong orn de grass relaxin. Across de road, was people who eh pay. Dey prefer tuh enjoy deyself walkin arong, taking een de sights an doin what dey can tuh get tuh chip behind ah band. Dey was behind ah next fence.

Between de two groups was de parade route, Lakeshore Blvd.

Arong 1.00 pm across from me, yes ah donation geh made in my name, tank-you-very-much, de people who eh pay mash dong part ah dey fence an dash into de road. Officials in green jerseys rush tuh fix it. Who eh make it tuh de road in dat wave decide tuh wait fuh de officials tuh leave. When dat happen de fence geh mash back dong an is more people orn de road. Wid parts ah de fence gettin mash dong all over de place an de poleece reachin too late tuh stop people streamin orn to de road, I figure by 4.00 pm Lakeshore would ah have all de non-payin folks it could handle. Anybody hopin tuh see only mas was goin an be out ah luck.

Mih prediction end up orf by about ah hour.

Ah sorry Toronto buh ah cyar stay one place durin Caribana. Ah had tuh jump up in ah band. Dat did mean seein how tuh get in de road. But nobody orn we side was breakin dong any fence. Only people not right in dey head does pay tuh be someplace den break out tuh go someplace else dat free.

After walkin fuh too long orn we side, we reach ah gate. Considerin dat parts ah de udder fence was gettin mash dong, gates wid people sayin yuh cyar parse here tuh go dey, seemed strange. But, In true Trini style, we end up wid wristbands allowin we tuh be in dis one band dat wasn’t movin. We was orn ah mission so we leave dat band behind.

Bramps, ah next gate. More people who look like dey couldn’t wait fuh Caribana tuh show orf dey power. Ah notice eef yuh walk up tuh dem boldface boldface dey would open de gate. We was boldface.

Mission accomplished. Lakeshore Blvd!

Let mih repeat mihself: People like we not Toronto’s biggest Caribana issue. Is dem who gettin on de parade route in ah far more obvious way. Is keepin people who pay happy dat dey pay. Ah bet de fence on de side we was orn was easy tuh mash dong buh again, people who pay wasn’t interested in doin dat. Fuh who was, a stronger fence is ah option.

One comment ah hear dis year is dat de city want tuh control too much. Ah hear ah next person was disappointed. How widespread is dem feelings?

Fuh me de bands was only so-so dis year, some was even real small. Wid de long breaks it sometimes had in-between some ah dem, people-watchin was in order fuh so. Dat eh worth no blasted $20 doh.

Still, ah stickin wid what ah say in mih article dat time: Caribana in good hands.

Dem hands an heads go have tuh wuk tuhgedder farse tuh find de right balance dat go make de most people in de most groups de happiest.

As fuh me, de onlyest way I go be dey again is eef ah in ah retro band playin sailor wid plenty powder an ah steelband beatin slow enough tuh hypnotize mih so ah could follow it tuh heaven an eh complain about de distance to an from.

Eef dat cyar happen den ah big lime go do de trick. In dat lime have tuh be friends me eh see in ages. We go be like one ah dem groups who dey tuh enjoy friends but food more.

Eef neidder option possible, den ah hangin up mih Caribana sneakers. Not even dem half nekkid. . . okay, one-twentieth clothed females showin dey nekkid nineteen-twentieths could lure mih back.

Me eh care eef is parade dey nineteen-twentieths paradin an dey one-twentieths only playin mas or is it de udder way arong?


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