There are so many festivals, events, and celebrations throughout Alberta in the Summer. Long days, beautiful weather, and being cooped up inside all winter means that as soon as summer hits we all want to be outside ALL the time.

One of the festivals that you MUST attend if you are in the Edmonton area on August 11-13th is Cariwest. “Cariwest is one of Edmonton’s most colourful and vibrant festivals! It was introduced more than 30 years ago, by the Western Carnival Development Association (WCDA), to fill the need of Caribbean Canadians to share their Music, Cuisine and Carnival Culture.”

A few Alberta Mamas got to attend the Mas Band Launch last week which is the kick-off to the festival. We couldn’t sit still! The music, the dancing, and those incredible costumes had us dancing in our seats from the moment we sat down. The hours these groups put into their costumes show but what we found to be the best part was how the whole family gets involved. Parents, Grandparents, cousins, Aunts & Uncles all participated and when the fashion show was over everyone got on their feet and started dancing.

One thing the Cariwest festival is known for is their parade. This year the parade starts at 99 Avenue & 108 Street NW and ends ends at Sir Winston Churchill Square on Saturday, August 12th from Noon – 2 pm. This would be a great way to spend the day downtown with the family!

Photo Credit: Nicole Marie Photography & Design

Cariwest is for all ages. Their focus this year is to promote the Caribbean culture to Albertans but to the next generation of children. They will have costumes for kids, SocaFit classes and steel drum lessons throughout the event. During the festival, they have a kids zone set up as well but as one of the event volunteers said “the kids are usually dancing with the adults!”

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