Carifesta 2019 shines in multicultural Montreal

Carifesta 2019 was a vibrant display of multiculturalism that Montreal should be proud of.

Montreal’s annual Carifesta parade strolled through the streets earlier today. Bringing joy and a wealth of culture with it. Its participants so colorfully clad in tradition customs and outfits. Others covered themselves in oil.

Haitian flags are proudly flown at Carifesta 2019 // Photo : Kieron Yates
Haitian flags are proudly flown at Carifesta 2019 // Photo : Kieron Yates

This, the 44th running of Carifesta was a particularly splendid event. Thousands came out to line the streets as the high spirited procession made its way. Montreal is a place built around is multiculturalism. Transplants from all over uproot themselves to settle in this fine Canadian city. Bringing with them rich culture and heritage – resulting in parades such as this. The Caribbean is well represented, but it wasn’t just the Caribbean ex-pats that come out to celebrate. People of all ages and races, of all backgrounds swarmed the streets. Cheering and dancing along with the convoy.

“My family is from Barbados,” said parade organizer Tenisha Collins. “We’re here to represent all the islands. Trinidad, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba. This is our day to showcase the islands.”

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“I come to this every year,” said Lloyd Jones. “I make sure to never miss it. All the colors and the costumes, gives me a real sense of home.” Jones, a resident of Ottawa, says he plans visits to Montreal every summer to be in attendance. “I just love the Montreal vibe,” he added.

Others found their way to the parade by shear fluke. Such was the case for Ally McTavish and Sean O’Reilly – Scottish tourists visiting the city. “We hadn’t a clue what was going on,” said McTavish. “We saw a large crowd gathering and thought we should have a peek. After all, we are on holiday. We came here to see what Canadians do, and here we are. Right smack in the middle of all this. It’s brilliant.”

The party vibe was a contagious one. As the parade’s tail appeared, the crowd joined in. Dancing and singing along all the way down Rene-Levesque boulevard. Culminating at the finale, for a big dance party. Slowly, clean-up crews swept up the debris and the city returned to business as usual. Unclogging the traffic jams that had built up along Ste-Catherine’s street. Little by little, people broke up and returned to their homes. Leaving the citizens of this fine city counting down the days until next year’s festivities begin.

Carifesta 2019 was a vibrant success.