Joburg’s rich diversity of cultures will again be on display on New Year’s Eve when the annual Carnival winds its way through the streets in a kaleidoscope of colours and sounds.
Now in its tenth year the Joburg Carnival has become a tradition that celebrates the City’s reputation as a melting-pot of different cultural traditions. The country’s commemoration of 20 Years of Democracy and Freedom will add an additional reason to celebrate as revellers see off the old, and welcome in the New Year.
Colourful floats and dazzling costumes will again be the hallmark of Carnival, which promises to be the best ever. More than 2 000 participants representing all seven regions will sashay through the streets and display their talents in choreographed dancing, music and poetry.
Troupes from a diverse group of countries will give Joburgers a glimpse of their unique cultural traditions – Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Bangladesh are among the nations that will be represented. Most of the troupes have been practicing for weeks and smaller events have been staged in the regions to prepare the participants for the big New Year’s Eve party.
Joburg residents can again expect a flamboyant spectacle as the floats, the gigantic puppets, stilt walkers and streets entertainers work their way along the streets and interact with the spectators watching from the sidewalks or apartments along the route.
The bands of the JMPD and the SAPS as well as drum majorettes will, however, add a strong local flavour as the procession moves from Hillbrow, through the streets of Braamfontein, across the Mandela Bridge and into Newtown. Here, at the Mary Fitzgerald Square, the various artists will entertain the crowd and join them to party into the early hours of 2015.
Councillor Chris Vondo, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development says Carnival is a marvellous opportunity for City residents coming from diverse background to celebrate the contributions they are making to Joburg’s unique urban identity. The Joburg Carnival is a flagship event and contributes to the allure of a City that has recently been named as the most popular destination in Africa, for the second consecutive year by the MasterCard Global Index.
“As we celebrate two decades of freedom we want to encourage all communities who reside in Johannesburg – especially coming from other countries on the African continent – to participate. This is further proof that Johannesburg represents an enriching fusion of cultures and that we are making strides towards social-cohesion in the city,” he says.