Caribana King

I spent my first vacation of 2014 in Toronto to play mas in the Caribana with my cousin. I attended many fetes throughout the weekend, but my first event was the Caribana Festival King and Queen Showcase at Lamport Stadium.

What is the King and Queen Showcase?

The King and Queen Showcase is an annual event held as part of Caribana, kicking off the Toronto Caribbean Carnival weekend. In this showcase, participants, often organized in bands presenting different themes, present elaborate large costumes.

The King and Queen costumes are typically the most elaborate among all the carnival costumes. They often feature intricate designs, vibrant colors, and large headdresses. The showcase provides a spectacular display of creativity and craftsmanship for designers and participants celebrating the diversity and cultural pride of the Caribbean community in Toronto.

The Caribana King and Queen competition is affordable for families and anyone interested in Caribbean culture and keeping the ‘old mas’ traditions. This year’s halftime show included live performances by JW and Blaze, Iwer George, Drupatee, and K. Rich.

Caribana King and Queen
Caribana 2014 King and Queen

Caribana Festival 2014 Mas Bands and Themes

  • Toronto Revellers – Warrior
  • Fantazia International – Unleash Your Fantasy
  • Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club – River of Mirrors
  • Carnival Nationz – HavanaTribal Carnival – Secret of Wingz
  • Connections Mastumes Band – Forces of Nature
  • Concept Costume Creators – Precious Jewels
  • Carnival Revolution – Visions in the Night

Congrats to Carnival Nationz as they swept the King and Queen competition. Their “Havana” theme was creative and excited me to visit Cuba. Below are the results:

2014 FEMALE INDIVIDUAL – Carol Tannis portraying THE ENCHANTED HAVANA MON (LA LUNA ENCANTADA DE LA HAVANA)

2014 MALE INDIVIDUAL – Mr. Meggy portraying ERNESTO, THE GECKO (aka THE ANOLIS ALLISON LIZARD)

2014 QUEEN OF BANDS – Joella Crichton portraying LA DIOSA DE EL VUELO (THE GODDESS OF FLIGHT)

2014 KING OF BANDS – Shane Reid Mungal portraying RAMON: EL BATERISTA CUBANO (THE AFRO-CUBAN DRUMMER)

Toronto has become one of my favorite summer destinations, especially during the Carnival season. Even when I’m not playing mas, I plan to visit to see the king and queen showcase.

Tips for First-Time Attendees

  1. Arrive Early: The King and Queen Showcase is popular, and seats fill up fast. Arriving early ensures you get a good spot to witness all the action up close.
  2. Dress Comfortably: Comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are a must.
  3. Bring a Camera: You’ll want to capture the stunning costumes and performances. However, be mindful of the rules regarding flash photography.
  4. Learn the Basics: Familiarize yourself with some Caribbean music and dance. It’ll enhance your appreciation of the performances and allow you to join the festivities more enthusiastically.
  5. Stay Hydrated and Snack Smart: With all the excitement, it’s easy to forget basic needs. Keep hydrated and enjoy some of the delicious Caribbean food available for sale at the venue.

Here’s a video of some of the band’s performances

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Have you ever attended the Caribana King and Queen showcase?

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