Caribbean culture was on full display in east Ottawa Saturday as the Carivibe parade and block party signaled the end of carnival season.

Both participants and spectators said the island beats and colourful costumes helped make an all-around fun atmosphere.

“The music and the rhythm, it makes you feel alive and it’s just a great way to express who we are,” said one of the dancers.

“I’ve seen the advertisements for two years and I found some friends who wanted to come with me, so it’s a great day,” said one woman wearing a newly-acquired mask.

Saturday’s festivities came after a beach party on Petrie Island back in June, each giving a chance for hundreds to spend a day reveling in all the Caribbean country colours.

“It’s just so fun, and you get to see people dressed up in different colours representing their country,” said one spectator.

“This is a community thing and this is about expressing Caribbean culture,” said a dancer. “Not only Caribbean culture but all the ethnic groups here, trying to get them involved.”

It wasn’t only a party for the sake of a party, as explained by dancer Simone Marcell.

“It’s about the freedom of the slaves, that’s where it started,” she said. “In Trinidad where my parents are from, when they were freed they would have a parade and dance in the streets.”

The event’s organizer said he’s happy with how Carivibe has grown.

“Even though we are from the Caribbean, we share Canadian culture and it’s important for us to express our culture to the Canadian market,” said Denis Mayers.

The block party continues until 9 p.m. Saturday on Centrum Boulevard near east Ottawa’s Shenkman Arts Centre.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Ellen Mauro