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Dance to Calypso, reggae and more during the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto. Credit: beachdigital.

By Carla Alberti

Toronto is about to turn up the bass on the classic summer street festival.  Come July 17, the whole city will reverberate with the sounds of Calypso, Soca, reggae, hip hop, steel pan and brass bands, officially ushering in the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, now in its 45th year. Formerly known as Caribana, the three-week event turns the streets into a kaleidoscope of feather headdresses, beaded bikinis and drum-beating, hip-gyrating musicians.

My personal favorite: the King and Queen Competition and Show, to be held at the Allan Lamport Stadium on Aug. 2. There, contestants showcase their artistic talents and getups that are practically worthy of their own floats.

The main event – the spectacular Grand Parade – will attract more than one million people to Toronto’s Lakeshore Boulevard. Think of it as one roving island party set to a steel drum beat. If you’re going, make sure to apply plenty of sunscreen, drink lots of water and wear some comfortable dancing shoes! The route stretches for miles.

Toronto hotels near the event

Carla Alberti is a senior market manager for Ontario.

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