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Carifiesta 2019: A cascade of colours, Caribbean culture in Montreal The 44th annual street parade provided an opportunity to celebrate Caribbean culture in Montreal.

The 44th annual street parade provided an opportunity to celebrate Caribbean culture in Montreal.

Dancers from Montreal’s Haitian community take part in the 44th annual Carifiesta in Montreal, on Saturday, July 6, 2019. 

A cascade of colours, feathers and beats took over René-Lévesque Blvd. on Saturday as Carifiesta celebrated its 44th edition.

The annual Caribbean street parade, which spans a few hours and draws thousands of people downtown, is an opportunity for people to celebrate Caribbean culture in Montreal.

Before the parade began, a DJ perched on an 18-wheeler asked a crowd of participants dressed in neon yellow and green: “Who’s from Jamaica? St-Lucia? Haiti? Barbados?” People screamed enthusiastically in response as they covered each other in coloured paint, danced along to the music, and eagerly awaited the start of the parade.

For some participants, Caribbean street parades are longtime traditions. Denise Als has been taking part in them since she was four or five; first in Toronto, now in Montreal. “This is our culture, this is a big part of my life,” she said. Als made the costumes for Roots Cultural Association, one of the bands— or sections — this year.

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