- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: Johannesburg prepares for New Year with colourful carnival
- Date: 1st January 2011
- Summary: MORE OF FLOATS ON THE STREET
- Embargoed: 16th January 2011 12:00
- Location: South Africa, South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA9X1KRXKZOTOI5BZQ6OO0MPMLJ
- Story Text: Johannesburg bids farewell to 2010 and prepares to welcome in the New Year with colourful carnival through the streets of the city centre.
Johannesburg bid farewell to 2010 and prepared to usher in 2011 with a colourful carnival through the streets of the city centre on New Year's Eve day (Friday, December 31).
Large floats, colourful costumes, and over-the-top accessories flooded the streets as the carnival weaved its way through, with participants singing and dancing as they passed.
Organisers of the '2010 Joburg Carnival' said 2010 was a good year and worth celebrating.
"Not only did we run a very successful World Cup, not only did we build fantastic stadiums and put in all the infrastructure for public transport, but we also had a very rich cultural programme. It's an opportunity for our artists to celebrate the city, so when tourists came to the city, they saw the friendly side of South Africans and they were welcomed," said Gauteng's Arts and Culture director Steven Sack.
Following in the footsteps of the world-famous Rio Carnival but on a much smaller scale, the Joburg Carnival is a visually vibrant celebration of music and art, with its own distinctive Mzansi twist.
Now in its seventh year, this year the carnival's theme is 'Jozi My Jozi, My City'.
"We wish everyone a very, very happy 2011. 2010 has been great, it has put South Africa on the map in a big way and we need to carry that spirit forward to 2011, so Happy New Year to everybody," added Sack.
The parade began in Kotze Street and moved through Hillbrow and Braamfontein, over Nelson Mandela Bridge and ended at Newtown Park.
The carnival is not only about having fun, according to the city's council, but also empowers communities through learning new skills.
The council said the key objectives of the carnival were to enable people to develop new skills and to build a Joburg Carnival Learnership Programme.
Residents participate by being part of the troupes, as either seamstresses, sculptors or choreographers, as well as in helping make the carnival a platform for artistic exposure - and thus providing much-needed employment.
Soweto resident Minky Sechabela said the carnival helped her to overcome her shyness and to be herself. It's her second year taking part.
"My New Year's resolution is to actually forget the bad things that happened in 2010 and actually start over my new life, ok, not really new but a 2011 life," said Sechabela.
Hosted by the city of Johannesburg, together with the South African Police Service, the Joburg Carnival celebrates the creativity and diversity of Johannesburg and provides a safe New Year's Eve activity for inner city residents.
Police said the carnival has helped lower crime levels in the inner city over the New Year since it was initiated seven years ago.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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