PARTY TIME: Performers dancing in the streets at the Cape Town Carnival. This year it will be bigger and better at the popular Fanwalk. Picture: YASSER BOOLEY
Spectacular celebrations of art, music and dance will ignite the Mother City this weekend at the third Cape Town Carnival in Greenpoint.
Long Street has been the home of the carnival for the past two years and attended by more than 60000 people.
However, this year the annual event has been moved to the popular Fanwalk in Somerset Road and promises to transform this carnival corridor into an explosion of colour, music and dance.
Cape Town CEO Jay Douwes yesterday said: “Due to the overwhelming support the carnival garnered last year, we had no choice but to move to a larger space to accommodate the continually growing audience”.
The 2012 theme is Cape to Cairo, which will celebrate the rich history and diversity of the city, country and continent.
Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile said: “The Cape to Cairo theme of this year’s carnival not only celebrates the rich art, music culture and heritage of the African continent, it also helps raise awareness around important issues like xenophobia.”
The carnival parade includes 11 themed pods with 80 lead performers in larger than life costumes, nine richly decorated floats and 11 academies.
Each academy has 150 community dancers and the Cape Town carnival brings together 45 performance groups from 23 areas around Cape Town. The three best lead dancers on the night will travel to Brazil to perform at the 2013 Rio Carnival.
The carnival parade is followed by a free street party from 11pm until midnight. Late night buses and trains have been provided for and MyCiti buses will also be in operation. Spectators are encouraged to use public transport to avoid congestion.
Alan Winde, provincial MEC for finance, economic development and tourism, said: “The Cape Town carnival is a gem on our annual events calendar and the Western Cape government is proud to be one of its supporters.
“I would like to encourage all the people of our city and province to participate in this lively event as it showcases the very best of what our destination has to offer.”
The objectives of the Cape Town carnival are multi-faceted: celebrating diversity, fostering social cohesion, promoting economic development and tourism, and facilitating training and development, particularly among the youth of Cape Town.