Stayed: A family members house in uptown Toronto Duration: 4 days
When: Late July/ Early August for Carabana Good For: Caribana? lol..
So lets be honest.. you know why I went lol..
So I don’t want to pull food and excursions out of my ass. I came to party and that’s what I did. Toronto was a very pretty city, typical to any metropolitan city and I do wish i was able to have stayed longer to explore it, or come at a different time to do different things.
For those of you who don’t know what “Caribana” is, it’s Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival. If you’re Caribbean then you should be familiar with your country’s rendition of it. In America, different cities have their own celebrations some are just bigger than others. NYC has the “Labor Day Parade” or “West Indie’s Parade” in September, Miami in October, NOLA‘s Mardi Gras in feb/march, etc. etc.
I went to Caribana with my friend to jump with the Toronto Revellers. Fortunately her cousin was from there so we had everything taken care of before even going. I’m usually the planner for everything so when I get to be the person who just needed the dates when money is due was great. Toronto is only about 11-12hours from NYC, so it’s an easy drive. We ended up taking MegaBus for the cheap option (definitely not the most comfortable one, but it does the trick).
My advice with taking long bus rides, do it at night, fall asleep-wake up there.
We ended up getting a 3 day Caribana party pass.Wednesday, we went to Sweetness on The Water, which was the boat cruise. From what I’ve been looking at lately they don’t have that specific one anymore BUT they do have other boat cruise options which i’m sure are exactly the same thing and highly recommend. You get a beautiful view of the city and get to drink and dance to soca for 4 straight hours. From what I remember the boat had 2 levels and an outside deck and I got one of those glowy stick things (girls love glowy stick things !). Thursday we went to Bacahnal, (if i remember correctly) which was a big club 2 rooms, great music. There was a stage where people were coming up to perform and then eventually people went up on to dance, it was non-stop dancing. Friday we went to Shine. It was a smaller club than Bacahnal, but just as fun and packed. Keep in mind, I went in 2011, so a lot of the parties I went to have changed names and there are different things offered now (so that’s why I haven’t provided may links). This years party line-up seems to have a lot to offer, lookey here if you’re still deciding.
So how to survive jumping in Carnival?
- DRINK WATER
- DRINK MORE WATER
- BRING 2 BOTTLES
- Bring Cash
- Have Fun – no insecurities allowed.
So serious though.. I don’t know if it comes with every bands outfits, but you kind of get a
goodie bag that includes a water canister.. nobody actually fills it with water.. My suggestion have a spare water bottle handy because you will need water. They filled our canisters with pure Black Label (very Caribbean of them yes), but you’re going to be dancing all day in the hot sun drinking alcohol straight mostly, you’re going to need water.They also will have trucks and such, serving food and beverage platters to those jumping, GET YOUR PLATTER (that may have been one of the best Caribbean food platters I’ve had in life), but you’ll also be able to get your water. Remember everyone is there to have fun just like you. This isn’t the place to be insecure in your costume or anything. Nobody is worried about how you look, they’re worried about how you whine. Book your Caribana trip now.
Hands down one of the best experiences I’ve had the pleasure being apart of.
Thanks Jamie & Lysa