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Caribbean Carnival returns to Regina

Click to play video: 'Caribbean Carnival returns to Regina' Caribbean Carnival returns to Regina
WATCH: For the first time since the pandemic began, a colourful Caribbean carnival took over the streets of Regina on Saturday – Jul 23, 2022

For the first time since the pandemic began, a colourful Caribbean carnival took over the streets of Regina on Saturday.

Organized by the Caribbean Carnival Association, downtown was bursting with colour, music and fun.

The Caribbean carnival is a celebration of Caribbean and South American culture and it is known for its iconic costumes and dances.

“You know how Christmas is in Canada?” Jacinta Fisher asked as she described the importance of the festival. “Carnival in the Caribbean is everything. That’s our biggest celebration throughout the year. And so we wanted to bring that here so that we can all share it.”

Regina’s Caribbean Carnival held in the Queen city on Saturday. Connor O’Donovan

Fisher is one of the Caribbean Carnival of Saskatchewan Association members responsible for organizing the festival.

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For Fisher, not only is it a day for members of the Caribbean community to express themselves in Regina, but for others to learn about the culture.

Regina’s Caribbean Carnival held in the Queen city on Saturday. Connor O’Donovan

“It’s a chance for us to not only celebrate ourselves in the way we dress and the way we dance, the way we move with the music, but it’s also going to be a chance for us to invite other people to experience that feeling,” she said.

The celebration originally began in Trinidad and Tobago and is now celebrated around the world.

To kick CaribFest’22 off, a traditional Caribbean parade made its way through the streets of Regina a little after noon through Cameron St., before stopping at Victoria Park where a number of life performances, games and entertainment were waiting for those attending.

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Regina’s Caribbean Carnival held in the Queen city on Saturday. Connor O’Donovan

Devona Haynes, the Caribbean Carnival Association treasurer said this is the first time their organization is organizing the carnival.

“We started our organization in 2020… COVID hit and we couldn’t do anything…so this year, we could finally do it… we decided to bring our culture to the streets this year,” she said.

“I think it came together amazingly it took a lot of hard work and I think we had an amazing turnout, I could not ask for better. I am overwhelmed by the amount of support and love we have received today ” Haynes said.

Cintia Monteiro Da Silva was also at the parade with her 4-year-old son Karter. She was born in Brazil and has experienced the culture of carnival her whole life.

Regina’s Caribbean Carnival held in the Queen city on Saturday. Connor O’Donovan

It was especially festive for her because it was the first time her son was able to attend and be part of it. The music, dancing, colour, costumes and food were all new to him.

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“It makes me so proud as a mom, as a Brazilian, to see my little man doing this with me,” she said.

She added that she really loves being able to experience the carnival once again after not having it for a few years, “this is where my comfort zone is, this is where I am comfortable and I am having a great time. I love seeing the outcome of everybody that is here.”

— With files from Andrew Benson

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