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65 Floats Took Part at the Carnaval International de Victoria

The 2011 Seychelles Carnival;‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ took place in Victoria, Seychelles 4-6 March 2011. FTNNEWS followed the carnival for you and brings you photos and videos.

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On the night of Friday, March 4, the Seychelles President, Mr James Michel welcomed the participants coming from all four corners of the world of the ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ as he launched the carnival celebrations this evening.

He said, “Our city welcomes you warmly. Victoria, city of peace and sharing. Victoria, city of generosity and human warmth, harmony and unity as a people of diverse origins. It showcases our nation as a true melting-pot of cultures, and a truly unique place.  Thank you for your presence and your participation. The ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ is the window of some aspect of our culture and heritage which we like to share with you.”

The President thanked and congratulated the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board Alain St.Ange and to all his staff in the Tourism Board, as well as all the stakeholders in the industry: the hoteliers, the airlines, the waiters and waitresses, the chambermaids, the taxi drivers, the providers of services etc, for their work in the preparation for the carnival.

Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Mauritian Deputy Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Vice-President of Zanzibar Seif Ali Iddi, Zimbabwean Vice-President J.T.R. Mujuru, the legendary American singer and United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Dionne Warwick attended the opening ceremony. Moreover, there were former Seychelles President James Mancham, Vice-President Danny Faure, the Mayor of Victoria Antoinette Alexis and other high local officials followed the opening ceremony.

Ms. Warwick, who is also Whitney Houston’s aunt, said that her presence at the carnival as an ambassador of the FAO even more meaningful as it will give her the chance to have fun as well as give support to the hungry and impoverished. When Ms. Warwick ended her message, her hit song ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ played and crowd watching the official opening sang the song all together.

CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board Alain St. Ange said, “The carnival is taking Seychelles to the world, just as the world is coming to Seychelles, so let us show the world what we as a small nation have to offer”.

The famous Seychellois musicians; Michelle Marengo Jean Baptiste, Jean-Marc Volcy, Patrick Victor, Fek Arive and Grace Barbe, Lima Calbio from Trinidad and Tobago, a Steel Band, Waki Band from La Reunion, the Cape Town Mistrals from South Africa and an Indonesian folk music group performed for the crowd to close the official launch of the carnival.

65 Floats Took Part in the Carnival

During the carnival procession, a total of 65 local and international floats took part on Day 2; Saturday. Local floats from Seychellois schools, business and non-governmental organizations and participants from 19 countries such as Brazil, India (3), France (Mainland 1 and La Reunion-3), Italy (2), China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Tanzania, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Zanzibar, and Madagascar took part at the second carnival.

The first carnival in Seychelles was back in 1972 with the name “Festival of the Seychelles” held to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first settlement of Seychelles in 1770.

Day 3: Family Fun Day

Day 3; Sunday was the Family Fun Day. Exhibitors and entertainment by all floats outside the Stad Popiler car park and around Victoria entertained locals and tourists in the city. At 18:00 (6pm) best local and international floats were awarded. Zimbabwe was the 3rd best, Indonesia was the 2nd best, and Notting Hill from London received top remarks from the organizers. After giving awards to best local floats, winners received rewards at the Carnival lottery held at the same stage at Stad Popiler Victoria. The Carnival lottery featured with the Star Prize of a brand new Hyundai i10, RS50.000 (about US$3.935 or €2.815) as the 1st Prize, RS25.000 as the 2nd prize, and RS10.000 as the 3rd Prize.

During the ceremonies we had chance to get remarks from Mr. Alain St. Ange; CEO Seychelles Tourism Board. The video from our talk as well as other videos during the carnival will be at www.ftnnews.com following days. New Focus Travel Magazine will also publish carnival news and photos at May 2011 issue.

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