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What to expect when you’re experiencing Cariwest for the first time.....

Cariwest Parade

Cariwest is a fun, vibrant and colourful festival. We try to transport you to the Caribbean for a few days with the flavours and sounds of the islands. For those who have never been to Cariwest we have some tips for you to enjoy the fun in the sun.


1. Picking a spot. The parade lasts about 2 hours from start to finish so depending on where you sit you could be waiting awhile for the parade to pass. Bring a water bottle, camera, chair, umbrella, whistle and flags. One of our Facebook fans suggested you have enough memory on your phone to take pictures and videos. (CLICK to see 2018 Parade Route)

2. Wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes. You are encouraged to dance with the masqueraders.

3. Be mindful of the kids watching the parade. Although you may really want to get a good spot, please be courteous of the little kids that also want to see the parade.

4. Pay attention to the police and any instructions they may give. They want to keep you and the festival goers safe.


1. If this is your first time being in the parade you are in for a thrill. Make sure you have a good breakfast because you will be walking and dancing for more than 10 blocks. Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated. Wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes. You will be walking quite a bit and you need to wear something that you will be comfortable in.

2. Check out the makeup tips to enhance your costume HERE

3. Bring a camera with you. Although many people will be taking your photo, it is always a fun time to take a picture with fellow masqueraders.

4. Dance your heart out. This is time that you can let loose. Don’t worry about what others will think because you will look amazing in your costume. Every size, colour and creed is welcome in the parade and you will have so much fun dancing on the streets of Jasper Avenue.

5. Accessorize your costume. You can bring a flag, a bandana, wear beads, blow a whistle, bubbles. Whatever that will bring out your personality is welcome.


1. Try some new foods. Caribbean vendors will be set up for you to experience some authentic food. Some foods might be a bit spicy so make sure you ask about the heat level.

2. You can also cool off in the rum gardens or take a run through the legislature fountains.

3. Dance! The entertainment will feature artists and DJs that will get you pumped up and wanting to move to the beat. Feel free to let the rhythms move you. There will be many people that will dance provocatively. This is normal dancing in the Caribbean. We want you to feel free to let the music move you. Bring a flag or a rag to wave.

We hope you have fun at the festival and try new things. We want you dancing and making memories with us!

August 10-12, 2018 Federal Building Plaza

Thanks to our special contributor Nadia Goodhart....

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Aug 11, 2018

I have not seen the cariwest parade in many years. Unfortunately, this year the parade was unlike the promotional pictures would have you think. There seemed many floats had little connection to the Caribbean. Some costumes would fit into a category of something that could not be worn in public - particularly some old white guys in I assume is a pair of shorts and a costume bra. I feel for the children who had to follow the truck flatbeds and be subject to music so loud that they will likely have hearing issues later in life. I hope parents would be more concerned about children’s health.

Generally, it was mostly a sad collection of skimpy outfits being worn by…

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