Caribana is Toronto , Canada’s annual carnival. It is one of the affordable carnivals you can attend. If you didn’t catch a decent flight price , you can check if anyone is doing a bus trip from NY , DMV , and other close surrounding areas. I was undecided about Caribana for a few months but I was lucky enough to find an affordable bus trip with hotel included. I did see a few other packages it was either too much or didn’t include transportation.
With my deposit in , I started to look at events taking place. With the help of my Instagram followers , I found a few events and I joined a very informative Facebook group. I decided on Jab Jab Jouvert for Friday which seemed to be the most popular event. I wished I had time for a Sunday event but the bus departure was 2 PM. I didn’t care to be in costume but I wanted to be in the parade so I found a t-shirt band ( Jab Army ) ! For about $60 US I got the VIP package which included a bodysuit , food , and other amenities.
I paid off my package and other tickets about a week ahead and was ready to go. I decided to pack very light since it was only a two day trip.
Finally it was Thursday & I was all packed to go.
The bus ride was smooth and we went through the border quickly.
Too early for check in to the hotel so I walked to Downtown Toronto , shopped in a few stores ( Dollarama ) EXCHANGED my money !
Finally checked in about 11 AM , the room was lovely , nice & big , two beds with a water view .
After a quick nap and shower , we headed out to brunch.
We decided on Eggspectation which was close by and had a decent amount of good Yelp reviews. The food was good and the service was even better . I recommend if you’re looking for a cheap brunch spot. I noticed when I was looking there wasn’t really any unlimited mimosas or bloody mary’s with brunch but the bottle prices were affordable.
After brunch , we decided to take the train to get our T Shirt mas package. The train was really clean and fast. Just a short walk to the pickup location we were a bit early and stopped by a couple of nearby stores.
The pickup was a disaster , no organization whatsoever. I felt bad for the one girl who was making bags. If you already know the size & name maybe make the bag first & then distribute. It’s easier and more efficient. It took about an hour just to get the package. It’s not like it was a full costume with feathers and all , it was literally a bodysuit, bottle , hat , and wristband.
After taking an uber back to the hotel , we got ready for Jab Jab Jouvert. About 30 mins or so from the hotel and then after a long walk into the venue , we were finally inside. First thing I noticed was nobody was dutty. Where was the paint ? Where was the powder ? I did notice a pool of paint but nobody was really inside or throwing it. There was a little foam machine but it looked pitiful. The music was good , at least. After maybe an hour , the crowd noticed the water hose and rushed towards it. Water was too cold for me but I enjoyed it a bit. There was one guy with oil and I think that’s the only way I got dutty. I wanted to go after a few hours but I wanted to see the artists that were on the flyer. Let me tell you something, Canada lie about artists. I only saw Mr Legz and I wasn’t too excited because I already seen him twice. I left after there was someone on the microphone that kept telling us more artists were coming but never showed. From the videos on IG , only Motto was the second & last artist. It’s okay because I saw him the next day and took a picture .
TIME FOR THE ROAD
Now if you know me , you know I don’t sugar coat ! This is just my honest opinion . Caribana could’ve been better !!! There was too much confusion with the huge venue , not enough signs , and very few people to ask for directions. It took a while to find our starting point. When we found our band , it was time to go. It started off fine , the band started throwing powder and water . The songs were good . After a while , I left to get food. After I ate , the band was long gone but I stayed behind different trucks.
Why the DJs played the same 10 songs ? I never want to hear Famalay or Run With It again. Is Canada behind In Soca ? I was so over the songs that I took naps. One nap I fell asleep to a song and woke up to it.
Anyways I had my fun when I could & enjoyed it a bit. Will I come back ? Maybe in the future but for right now NO !!
Although my time there wasn’t the best , I still appreciated the quick vacation and a chance to be in another country.
Also I think I’m addicted to Canadian hot dogs , I had one every chance I could get.
Special shoutouts to Forever Young Promotions especially Dee for a fun and safe bus ride !
Check out all of the videos and pictures on my Instagram – @kayysmooveereviews!
Please note this is my honest opinion based on my own travels . Everyone has their own experience.
Note : I’m using “We” because I was accompanied by my best friend.
1. There are several bands that participate in the parade so you can choose to wear a costume .
2. You can fly in to Canada , there are two airports.
3. Stay in or near Downtown , this is where most events will be held .
4. This is a dry carnival , meaning no alcohol served on the road , but you can bring liquor .
I used a hydration pack .
5. Official Website – https://www.caribanatoronto.com/
6. $1 US is not $1 CAD. Please exchange your money and use those coins !
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