Soca and reggae artists with over a century of experience will be scattered across Toronto this weekend with simultaneous events celebrating the best of Caribbean food, entertainment and culture when the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, known as Caribana, gets into full rhythm on Friday. Following is a list of events between August 1 and August 4:
• Alison Hinds opens the Irie Music Festival with a live performance at Nathan Phillips Square at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. Hinds, from Barbados, made her name as an artist in 1987 as part of the hit soca group Square One. “#Soca #Animals I'm in de building!! Irie Music Fest Nathan Phillips Square,” she said Friday in a Twitter update attached with a picture showing crowds gathering around City Hall. Reggae singer Etana closes the festival on Sunday.
• Island Soul starts with a primetime performance from soca music staples Edwin Yearwood and Krosfyah at 9 p.m. from Harbourfront Centre with four days of celebration “as the cultural legacy of the Caribbean comes to Toronto’s waterfront for four days,” their website said. Reggae empress Marcia Griffiths is scheduled to perform beginning at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the venue said on their website. The event is located at the WestJet stage and is free to the public.
• NBA basketball stars Lebron James and 2014 #1 draft pick Andrew Wiggens bring on their social game to ‘Return of the King’ later in the evening at Maison Mercer Nightclub near King Street W. and John St.
• The Grand Parade takes place on Saturday where over a million of revellers move along a 3.5 kilometre stretch of Lakeshore Blvd. The parade will feature VIP seating in a shaded area, food and non-alcoholic beverages and a marketplace during the festivities.
• The Main Event begins at 8 p.m. Saturday from the International Centre on Airport Rd. in Mississauga featuring soca artists Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons.
• Carnival Island on Centre Island ends Caribana weekend on Sunday with a packed line-up of scheduled performances from soca stars Iwer George, JW & Blaze, Destra and Patrice Roberts.
• JAMBANA, One World Festival runs between Sunday and Monday at Markham Fair Grounds featuring a prestigious line-up with Toronto’s Jully Black, Marcia Griffiths, Cocoa Tea, The Mighty Sparrow and Long ‘Shen Dao—China’s first reggae band. Jamaican comedian Oliver Samuels will MC the event which is now in its 12th anniversary season.