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NEWS AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. July 18, 2022: About 2,000 children and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently brought Caribbean culture to the streets of Toronto as the 2022 Toronto Caribbean Carnival returned after a two-year hiatus.

‘Kiddies for Mas,’ the Junior Carnival Parade that is part of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival month-long festivities, ran along Neilson from the Malvern Community Centre to Neilson Park in Toronto. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau helped kick off the large parade of costumed youngsters and greeted the crowds at the opening ceremony.

The ‘Kiddies’ sported several themes including, including Rome as a parent keeps the children cool on July 16, 2022. The parade included 12 Mas bands. Toronto Mayor John Tory and Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson were also on hand.

“Thank you to the young people who are out celebrating, demonstrating how happy we are all to be gathering in person once again,” Trudeau said. “Today is about them, getting out, celebrating this extraordinary community.”

Trudeau noted that it’s the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Toronto that the parade has been held.

“It has been a tough time these past two years,” Trudeau said. “We have seen a rise in anti-Black racism and in intolerance that is associated with so many of the challenges people face, and on a day like this, we get to remind ourselves what it is to be Canadian.”

Laverne Garcia, executive chair of the festival management committee, said the day was a celebration of Caribbean history and culture. The committee produces the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and Kiddies for Mas.

“What we’re doing is we’re celebrating the next generation of masqueraders that are going to be leading the carnival into the future,” she said.

“The roots are in emancipation. It’s about freedom and diversity. Especially for the children, it’s an opportunity to celebrate who they are and where they came from. Also, it also shows them a way to integrate and learn about their history and culture.”

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