ORGANISERS of the Paphos carnival are urging participants to register ahead of a lottery to determine positions in the parade due to take place in two weeks’ time.
The festivities get underway on Thursday, February 16, traditionally starting with the grand entrance of the ‘King of the carnival’, but this year it will be a ‘Queen of the carnival’, signalling the start of ten days of celebrations.
So far, around 60 teams and floats have signed up for the main carnival parade on Sunday, February 25, with more to follow, said a spokesman for the Paphos municipality cultural department.
“People can still register to participate in the coming days, but the sooner the better, otherwise they will end up at the back,” he said.
Paphos is celebrating its title as cultural capital of Europe for 2017, an honour it shares with Aarhus in Denmark and this year’s theme reflects that.
“This year, the King is not as such, but a Queen. She is titled the ‘Queen of Culture’, the journey has started,” the municipal official said.
At 5pm on February 16, the Queen will make her grand entrance accompanied by the Paphos municipal band, cheerleaders and dancers from local dance schools.
The Queen of Cultures’ entrance will start from Griva Digenis Avenue, close to the Co-op bank, finishing up at October 28 square (town hall square).
At 6pm, celebrations will commence at the square and members of the public are invited to join in. Entertainment includes carnival music, jugglers, stilt walkers, dancers and singers.
In the nearby car park of the public library, food and drinks will be served.
Next Sunday, February 19, a treasure hunt will start at 10am from the second primary school which is in the centre of town. Cash prizes for the three different groups will be awarded – €150, €100 and €70, respectively.
On Friday, February 24, at 8pm, the Paphos municipality ‘Grand Carnival Dance’ will be held at the Annabelle hotel in Kato Paphos. Michael Sophocles and Alexia Anastasiou will be presenting the event.
Prizes will be given out for the best costumes for individuals, couples and groups. Tickets are priced at €25.
On Saturday, February 25, the grand carnival parade will be held along Poseidonos Avenue which runs parallel to the seafront in Kato Paphos starting at 3pm. Floats will assemble at Almyra hotel and the parade will conclude at the car park of the archaeological park.
Along with the participation of dozens of floats, the Paphos municipal band, cheerleaders and other musical groups, thousands of locals and visitors are expected to attend and participate.
During the entrance of the Queen of the Carnival and the grand parade, central roads and those leading off them will be closed to traffic in Paphos town and Kato Paphos, respectively. To avoid inconvenience, drivers are requested to find alternative routes or follow police instructions.
Grand Carnival ball tickets are priced at €25. For bookings call 26932014
To book a place in the carnival parade or for further information call 26935523/26822218.