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‘A little Christmas cheer’ for Nicosia

feature nick people enjoy the carousel photos by christos theodorides
People enjoy the carousel - Photo by Christos Theodorides

Central Nicosia has put on its Christmas jumper as the streets are adorned with new festive lights, a Ferris wheel illuminates the skyline and the promise of a new-look Makarios Avenue opening on Tuesday.

Stasikratous, Eleftheria square, Ledra street and – soon – Makarios Avenue have been lit up to instil “a little Christmas cheer, which we all need right now”, Marina Koumasta, Nicosia municipality spokesperson, told the Sunday Mail.

The Christmas fair (Paramythoupoli)has returned to its original host destination this year, tucked neatly into the side of the Venetian walls near Ochi roundabout, after about seven years in Strovolos.

But a lot has changed during its absence from the old city: perhaps most notably, the fair links up with one of the municipality’s longest and most ambitious projects, the finally finished Eleftheria square, and the fair’s Ferris wheel now competes with the capital’s tallest building – the 34 floor 360 Nicosia.

A more pervasive addition to this year’s festivities is the requirement of a SafePass, as outlined in the most recent restrictions.

And while the commanding presence of the Ferris wheel and the ‘booster’ ride of the fair may steal the show, Stasikratous has put on its best – with its packed cafes and bars and well-regarded streetlights.

The elephant in the city is Makarios Avenue, which is set to reopen on December 7 after months of closure for renovation. Koumasta says it too will have an array of special lights and decorations.

There has been some controversy and confusion as to what the traffic situation will be, but Koumasta confirmed that the most recent announcement – that it will be a one-way road with private cars gaining access for a year – currently stands.

She also told the Cyprus Mail that many large Christmas gatherings had been planned by the municipality, such as carol singers and dance shows, but these have been scaled back or cancelled altogether following the most recent Covid-19 restrictions.

The ferris wheelA small child looks expectantly at his mother in front of the carouselChildren ride on the carousel with their mumChildren ice skating

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