IntroductionA simple Internet search "Kids in Caribana" will undoubtedly bring the reader to photos of cute bejeweled children and newspaper articles covering the annual Junior Carnival parade. While accurate, the "Kiddie Parade" fails to capture the full extent of the ways children engaged in the festival. Since its inception in 1967 children have always been a part of Caribana, as organizers have always crafted events directed at children to ensure they were immersed in Caribbean culture. Limbo contests, story telling, arts and crafts and musical concerts took place in the St. Lawrence centre and on Centre Island were some of the more structured and popular modes of cultural transmission. Hence, the Kiddies Parade, as it occurs presently in Scarborough, is a later incarnation of how organizers and parents transmitted their heritage to children.
This photographic essay illuminates the various spaces and places children occupied during Caribana prior to the large and organized Kiddies Carnival parade. The photos demonstrate that children both received and transmitted Caribbean culture through three locations: On the 'fixed' stage as competitive performers or ceremonial ambassadors, on the 'moving' stage of the main road as masqueraders or costumed accompaniments to adults, and finally on the 'side' road, without costumes but as wide eyed spectators.