The chime of Seychelles clock tower in the center of Victoria did not miss a beat last Friday. Inaugurated by the Queen of England in 1903, Victoria’s clock tower never looked taller and more attractive, and it had more company last weekend than it did 108 years ago. Seychelles was taken by surprise by the success of its own innovative carnival, which has become the “Carnival of Carnivals.” The foreign participation exceeded expectations with delegations flying in from as far away as China, Korea, and Indonesia to Hawaii, the UK, and France, to Italy and Brazil, and from many African delegations, not to forget Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and South Africa. The Indian Ocean Islands of La Reunion and Madagascar were also present with floats, which saw La Reunion showcase their new UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The world bodies were also well represented with the European Union using the carnival to show off their member states by flying a flag from each country. The same idea was taken up by La Francophonie and the Southern Africa Tourism Body, RETOSA, and the United Nation’s Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO), which had their Goodwill Ambassador Dionne Warwick fly to Seychelles to be their official representative for the carnival.
The 2011 Seychelles “Carnaval International de Victoria” was officially launched last Friday by Seychelles President James Michel. It is now confirmed that on the second day of the carnival when the float parade took place, Victoria welcomed the largest gathering of spectators ever.
“This was a new record of mass participation for Seychelles,” Alain St.Ange said. “The Seychelles Tourism Board is overjoyed about the success of this carnival, and we are already confirming foreign floats for the 2012 edition of our event, which is set to become the only carnival of carnivals,” St.Ange noted.