Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Toronto Winter Solstice Parade 2019

Winter comes back to Toronto December 21st with the shortest day and the longest night. Cripes that's a bad combination, then you throw in low temperatures, yuck. Luckily Red Pepper Spectacle Arts returns with the winter festival, parade and burning ceremony starting in Kensington Market at 6:30pm on the 21st. "Ignite the longest darkest night". Here are some of my photos from the 2018 Solstice.
The gathering starts at Oxford Street and Augusta Avenue where an indigenous drum circle begins the night's festivities. People in horse costumes, stilt walkers, marching bands and lanterns then lead into a spectacular fire breathing show that proceeds the Solstice Parade. You can buy lanterns from 5-6:30pm at 260 Augusta Ave for $20.

That parade full of puppeteers, musicians and visitors start to head out of Kensington Market at 7:00pm as they walk south to Dundas Street and west into Alexandra Park. Members of the final ceremony file into the ball diamond in the park, circling as music plays and the crowd grows. In the centre of the diamond is a large, cardboard structure that is an impressive work of art meant to burn in flames, each year it is a different sculpture.

The start of the fire finale

It really is a unique experience and something that you should try at least once.

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