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Mardi Gras - with a Harbourfront twist

All this Canada Day weekend, the Harbourfront Centre has been alive with the sights and sounds of, "Extravaganza: A Feast for the Senses". Like the tag implies, some of the most colourful (and flavourful) of summer traditions from around the world are being celebrated in grand fashion.

After spending Saturday afternoon listening to fantastic Indian brass ensembles, giggling at the folks participating in Brazilian dance workshops, and sampling all kinds of spicy dishes, I thought things just couldn't get better.

Then I saw today's Mardi Gras inspired lineup.

The full schedule is available on the Harbourfront site, but if you're as excited about the possibility of Mardi Gras in July (or Mardi Gras in Toronto, period.), be sure to make note of these events in particular:

First off, FOOD:

Chef Ismat Jivani from Big Daddy's Crabshack and Oyster Bar (King & Simcoe) will be breaking out the Cajun spices to stir up some of his famous New Orleans style Creole dishes. Lakeside Terrace @ 2pm

Next, MUSIC:

The Fat Tuesday Brass Band, a 7 piece Montreal-based Mardi Gras funk and jazz band, will be at the CIBC Stage equiped with sax, trombone, sousaphone and, of course, trumpets. Jams begin at 3pm.

Then kick back for some FILM:

"Mardi Gras-Made in China" will be on screen at the Studio Theatre at 4pm. About an hour in length, this film tells the story of globalization by focusing on Mardi Gras beads and four stories surrounding them. Not a preachy doc, this one promises much action, and drunk revelers exchanging beads for nudity. Frankly, I'm a bit confused by the film descrip, but it sounds interesting... has won a series of awards.

Of course, no Mardi Gras is complete with out a PARADE:

The Finale Parade begins at 6pm. Put together by the Red Pepper Spectacle, this parade promises, "Mardi Gras flair, featuring the Fat Tuesday Brass Band, Giant Puppets, Fire Artistry, dancing umbrellas and bead giveaways!" Good times.

(Another weekend of coloured beads.... it's like an extended pride!)

If you've never been, you can get down to the Harbourfront Ctr by taking the subway to Union and catching the RT to York Street. Monday isn't a holiday this time around, so pack that fun in today.


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