The anticipation is building for fans of Caribbean music, food and arts as Cariwest – Edmonton's Caribbean Arts Festival – is set to arrive this August 8 to 10th, 2014. An annual event in downtown Edmonton, it is the city's pride and joy for those hailing from the Caribbean and provides a splash of colour for all who attend. Cariwest dates back to 1984 and the Klondike Days Parade, but as the years have passed, the event has taken on a life of its own.

A Celebration of All Things Caribbean

Crowds of 60,000 or more will gather to celebrate the heritage of Caribbean immigrants who have made Edmonton and Canada their home. However, performers are not restricted to those who reside in Canada; musicians and artists will be in attendance from around the globe, sharing their talents to the enjoyment of attendees. In a city that has already embraced a host of cultures and creates a multicultural atmosphere, it's no surprise that Edmonton is welcoming the unique heritage of the Caribbean with open arms.

Enjoy Music Ranging from Calypso to Steel Pan

When it comes to the sounds of the Caribbean, expect soca, calypso, hip hop, steel pan drumming, brass bands and much more. The musical genres of the Caribbean are a lively, carefree type of music that sets toes to tapping and makes everyone want to move to the beat. Worries will disappear and smiles will bloom as the sweet sounds of the Caribbean are enjoyed by attendees.

Experience a Taste of the Exotic at the Parade

You'll find Caribbean pageantry at its best as the parade passes through, capturing the imagination of those young and old. As those who have attended in the past will agree, the parade is one of the most memorable moments in the Cariwest festival and shouldn't be missed. It's a street party beyond compare as participants pull out all of the stops with costumes that celebrate their culture. The music accompanies members of the festivities during the entire experience, drawing bigger crowds every year. The parade starts at noon on Sunday at the Government Centre Transit Terminal near the Legislature, makes it's way down 108 Street, Jasper Avenue ending at 100 street and 103 Avenue. 

Free Entertainment for All

The best part about Cariwest is that there is no admission cost to all who wish to attend. While there are some private events that require a fee, the vast majority of the festival is free of charge including all of the public events. As such, it's an excellent way to enjoy a weekend. Whether you attend with the entire family or you're going solo, you're sure to find plenty to catch your attention when you join in the fun.

Experience the Caribbean in Your Own Backyard

There's no reason to travel thousands of kilometres away when the Caribbean will be coming to you. When you attend Cariwest, you'll get a chance to experience this exotic part of the world first-hand. Make the most of every moment and let this rich, fascinating culture wow you with its marvels.

Edmonton is proud to be the host of Cariwest and the organizers hope to see you join in the celebration. See you there!

Posted by Sarah MacDonald on
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