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Caribbean Carnival Parade Spectators Will Be Searched for Weapons

Photo by {a href=""}refreshment_66{/a}, from the {a href=""}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

Following a city-wide rash of gun violence, a spokesperson for the festival formerly known as Caribana has told CP24 that security officers will be searching attendees at this year’s parade, on August 4. For the first time, guards will be making sure that spectators aren’t carrying weapons, alcohol, drugs, or other banned items.

The parade is the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s marquee event—the climax of three weeks of Caribbean-themed celebration. Organizers estimate that it draws nearly a million people annually. Stephen Weir, a festival spokesperson and organizer, told the Globe and Mail that security staff will only be searching people on their way to the bleachers, which have a capacity of about 20,000. In other words, something like 980,000 parade-goers (by the organizers’ estimates) will still be able to carry all the guns and drugs they want—though we’re sure almost all of them can be trusted not to bring those things.

Weir also said that the decision to institute searches was not a response to recent high-profile shootings, like the one that took place on Danzig Street last week.