The organizers of the 2011 Seychelles “Carnival International de Victoria” met this week with representatives of all their local carnival floats to go over arrangements of the islands’ coming carnival. “It is now very clear that the carnival will be bigger than previously expected,” Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, told all the gathered float participants.
This meeting was held at the ex-National Assembly Hall at the National Library. Besides the Seychelles Tourism Board, other organizations on the panel to ensure the smooth running of the carnival were the Seychelles Police, Fire Rescue and Safety, and Red Cross Society of Seychelles.
Each representative talked about the dos and don’ts in their respective field to ensure that float participants know their roles and responsibilities from the start of the carnival procession to the end.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board and eTurboNews Ambassador, Alain St.Ange, informed everyone that the opening of the carnival weekend will take place at 6:00 pm on March 4 at the Clock Tower in Victoria. This will be followed by a range of entertainment and activities in town. He noted that an array of international singers and bands will be performing alongside local artists at the opening ceremony and during the carnival weekend. They include famous Lima Calbio from Trinidad & Tobago and sensational Seychellois singer Grace Barbé who lives in Australia.
A number of international dignitaries will also grace the carnival with their presence and they will be present for the official ceremony.
Mr. St.Ange explained that three navy ships, notably Russia, India, and the British, will also be bringing their support to the carnival and people of Seychelles by docking in Port Victoria for that same weekend. This forms part of their efforts to show that they support Seychelles in its fight against piracy.
La Digue will be the only island besides Mahé who will be represented in the carnival, and Mr. St.Ange said they should be congratulated for coming together to prepare a float which portrays what their island stands for. He said he wished that other islands needing international visibility would have done the same.
Mr. St.Ange also revealed that 8 television crews forming part of some 39 international press will be descending on Seychelles to cover the event. A lot of stalls will also be in Victoria to prepare food or display their products. These will be done to ensure that all installations are properly done and do not pose any risks.
The police talked about the different roads that will be closed prior to and during the carnival to ensure smooth running of the activities, while also ensuring that traffic in and around Victoria flows.
Mr. Nigel Henrie, who is the float organizer, traced the procession routes for the benefit of the participants and explained why all floats should be berthed at the Roche Caiman site at least a day before the carnival. He said that the entertainment hall will also be available for those who want to set up their float there. Mr. Henrie noted that due to the size of the procession, all floats should be ready and on site by 6:00 am on March 5 and all participants lined up with their float by 11:00 am.
From Stad Linite, the procession will proceed via Plaisance, Mont Fleuri, along Francis Rachel Street and straight ahead onto Albert Street, turning right at St. Fidèle onto Palm Street, turning right on 5th June Avenue and proceeding up to the Unity Monument where some of the floats will then proceed to rest at the Stad Popiler car park. Other floats will be parked at different points in Victoria such as the Children’s Playground, Freedom Square, and Marine Charter car park.
It was clear after the briefing session that participants were overwhelmed by the size of the coming carnival and all were eager to be part of the national event.