Every weekday, we pick an image from the Torontoist Flickr Pool and feature it here on the site. It’s our way to give the many excellent photographers in our pool the attention they deserve!
Caribana descends on Toronto again next week, and on the 40th anniversary of North America’s largest street festival, we found this photo from 1993 quite fascinating. The two performers are standing in Exhibition Stadium (demolished 1999; now the site of BMO Field), and Flickr pool contributor pixelsnap tells us that the men are actually facing thousands of people in the north grandstand.
“This was taken the day of the Caribana Parade as rival “mas bands'”—some of them hundreds strong—passed through Exhibition Stadium for the judging, prior to winding their way onto Lakeshore Boulevard for the parade itself,” says the photographer.
But where are the elaborate, expensive costumes Caribana is known for? “One newspaper reported that a few celebrants—that’d be these guys—decked themselves out in gorilla masks, pantyhose and sneakers, and smeared themselves with grease, sparkles and food colouring as a throwback to the old days in Trinidad when those with no money for ‘proper’ glitzy costumes deliberately dressed down to celebrate Carnival.”