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caribana toronto guide
Photo by A. daSilva Photography

Caribana is more than just a festival, it’s an interactive celebration that relies as much on the spectators as it does the performers. Over two million people participate in the week-long celebrations, which include everything from foam parties to soca-themed dance clubs. Anyone who attends Caribana will soon find out that attendance demands full participation, whether it be cheering along the bands, joining in the dance celebrations or singing along to the Soca rhythms.

If you’re headed to Caribana this year be prepared to have the time of your life. Here are our top survival tips to get the most out of your experience.

(Read: Complete Caribana Festival Guide)

1. Book your hotel now

Did we mention that 2 million people participate in Caribana weekend? If you haven’t already booked your accommodations, we’re not sure what you’re waiting for, but you can start here.

2. Get festive

Caribana is all about the costumes, the glamour, the music. So, get festive and join in on the celebration: wear a costume, head to the official events,

3. Be ready to party

Caribana weekend in itself hosts about three dozen parties and events over four days. The fun is literally non-stop. Head to every event you can; you can rest when it’s over. Or, better yet, book a hotel nearby and take mini naps in between events.

4. Don’t skip the parade

The Caribana parade is the centerpiece of the entire weekend and as stimulating as it gets. Plus, it’s free. The parade will leave from Exhibition Place at 10 am on Saturday, August 5th, and head down Lakeshore Blvd.

5. Dress comfortably for the parties

After you’ve gotten all the wear out of your costume, you should switch to something a lot more comfortable for the after parties. You’ll be dancing, sweating, and hopping around all night to soca, reggae and dancehall; there’s just no need for the fancy get-up.

6. Skip the heels altogether

No one, not even the extravagantly dressed performers would dare wear heels and you shouldn’t either. Keep your feet free and comfy for the long day of dancing.

7. Pack and dress light

Leave the extras behind for the above-mentioned reasons.

8. Avoid driving

Between the crowds, road closures, and traffic, the last thing you’ll want to do is be in a car on Caribana weekend. Take advantage of the city’s TTC system or stay close and walk over.

9. Take care of your health

That includes, but is not limited to, sunscreen, water, bandaids (for blisters), change of clothes, and more water.

10. Go all out and have fun

Caribana is a celebration full of happy people (we mean, Canadians), music, parties and dancing so let loose, make new friends, dance your heart out, and have a great time.

Your Caribana Survival Guide
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