A colourful celebration of Caribbean culture danced its way through downtown Edmonton Saturday.

Crowds gathered along downtown Saturday afternoon to take in some of the island culture at the 28th annual Cariwest festival.

The parade began at 99 Avenue and 107 Street and made its way to Churchill Square, where a full day of live music, dancing and festivities take place through to Sunday.

“The music and the costumes and everything are new to me,” said Sujani Wijensundera, who was experiencing the Cariwest parade for the first time with her family.

“It’s the first time I’m here to see this party.”

The parade is part of Edmonton’s annual three-day Cariwest Caribbean arts festival.

“It’s celebrating the Caribbean culture and if you know Caribbean people we love to dance, we love to sing, we love to party so that’s what this is about,” said Michael Samuel with Cariwest.

“You hear the music and you dance, you may not even know you’re dancing but you get into it.”

Many of the big, bright and elaborate costumes take months to create.

"The planning starts in October, the building starst in February and we go until now," said Claude Spencer, who along with his brother worked on creating a gigantic piece to take part in the parade.

Cariwest originally began as part of the Klondike Days (Capital Ex) Parade, as a way for Caribbean immigrants in Edmonton to celebrate and their culture.

Organizers say all Edmontonians are invited to come and celebrate Cariwest.

“This is Cariwest Edmonton so we want Edmonton population to come out and enjoy this,” Samuel said.

A Cariwest extravaganza and costume contest took place Friday night. Cariwest festivities in Churchill Square continue into Sunday.