On 19 March, Long Street will be charged with the colour and attitude to rival the World Cup revelry, but this time Capetonians won’t celebrate soccer wins but the second annual Cape Town Carnival.
This year’s theme “Dream the future” will, according to organisers, showcase the dreams Capetonians hold for their city, the country and the world, showcased by the range of floats, dances and costumes that will be on display.
For the length of Long Street, from Castle St to Buitensingel St, The Cape Town Carnival will light up the street with sequin-clad dancers, lasers, lights and pride from 25 represented communities around the city.
“It is truly something to be proud of, something to parade,” said Michael Worsnip, CEO of the Cape Town Carnival. “The fact that these really diverse communities can come together and celebrate who we are, and show the world what we have to offer.”
The 2011 parade has been in the planning since the end of last year’s event, and will consist of themed shows, each with one float, six show performers and 200 costumed performers. From 150 Harley Davidson costumed riders to minstrel players and Zorbs — large translucent balls, powered by people inside them.
“The Carnival is a connection representing every possible shape and size, religion and color of our diverse city and country,” Worsnip emphasised.
Based on lessons learnt during last year’s pilot carnival in Long Street, the 2011 Carnival will see the launch of a much grander experience. It will have all the glamour and sensuality of Rio but with a distinctive African beat, organisers promise.
The parade will culminate in a two-hour street party with 5FM’s DJ Fresh playing dance music. “It will be the biggest party since the world cup,” Worsnip said.
Long Street is expected to fill to capacity, and organisers are hoping to create an atmosphere to rival that of the 2010 World Cup.
The carnival will also create around 350 jobs that will have a positive impact on the lives those employed even temporarily, Worsnip said.
From employment to skill transfer, event organizers said they wanted to see communities seeing significant benefits from the carnival, with annual increases as the event gains in popularity and size.
“I just want to focus on one thing, and that is that I hope that the carnival will really bring people together, and will bring people from different racial groupings in our city together,” said Cape Town mayor Dan Plato.