Cariwest a whirlwind of Carribean
Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 11:15 am
Runs Aug. 8 to 10
Shaw Conference and Churchill Square
Check website for ticketed events at www.cariwest.ca
Cariwest is an explosion of colour, music, revelry and creativity quite unlike anything else in Edmonton. It’s the quintessential summer event.
A stunning Caribbean festival full of euphoria and general bootie-shakin’ fun, it’s an unspoken invitation to forget your cares and abandon yourself to the music and pageantry.
With massive masquerade bands, spectacular costumes, pulsating music and swaying dance moves, it’s a great visual show, a Trinidadian postcard of fun that runs this weekend from Aug. 8 to 10.
Run strictly by passionate volunteers such as St. Albert’s Irma Austin, it has woven its seductive flamboyant pumpin’ beat for 30 years.
In celebration of this landmark year, Cariwest brings back the Friday Night Costume Extravaganza, Saturday’s Grand Costume Parade, the Saturday Night Gala and a Caribbean Village set up in Churchill Square.
In addition Austin, as Cariwest special events coordinator, has worked since 2011 to acquire funding for a scaled down-version of the Trinidad-Tobago Children’s Carnival.
Supported by a one-time grant from Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, carnival organizers are introducing a children’s masquerade band.
The theme is Once Upon a Time dramatized by two fairytales – Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast – selected to represent the children’s masquerade.
“This year we brought in a costume construction expert from Arizona and he is constructing our children’s costumes,” Austin said noting that masqueraders will be stunning.
All told 65 children will don extravagant costumes of familiar characters such as Aladdin, Cogsworth and Lumière.
“We wanted to include children from all walks of life. It was inclusive to the inner city and any other children who wanted to participate was given the opportunity,” said Austin.
The public gets their first peek of the children’s costumes at the Friday Night Costume Extravaganza at Shaw Conference Centre.
At this event, 13 adult mas (masquerade) bands compete for the title of King and Queen. It’s an event that showcases design, craftsmanship and innovation and sets the stage for the three-day mas revelry.
This year, the King and Queen of the children’s mas band, the Genie and Jasmine respectively, will also be part of the formal introductions said Austin.
However, a full corps of 65 children dressed as Jasmine, Aladdin, Genie, Imperial Guards, Lumière, Cogsworth and Chip will light up the Saturday parade. Starting at noon on 108 St., it winds down Jasper Ave. to Churchill Square.
Sunday also hosts a children’s parade at Winston Churchill Square featuring all costumed children participating in the parade.
Austin also noted there are a few costumes of the Imperial Guard still needing bodies. Any child nine to 14 years is welcome to register. Call 780-421-7800.
For more event information visit www.cariwest.ca.