It’s that time of year again when just about anything goes as everyone around the island reaches for their funniest, silliest and most bizarre outfits! And if there’s one city on the island that knows the true meaning of living it up for carnival, it simply has to be Limassol, coming to life with heaps of colour and madness all round in the days leading up to Lent as thousands descend upon the seaside town.
And yes, carnival celebrations are taken mighty seriously, with carnival balls, costume competitions and a whole variety of upbeat street shows, all culminating in a Grand Parade along the town’s main streets on the Sunday before the start of Lent (March 1st this year).
That’s not to forget the DJs that prepare the best tunes to get crowds partying at bars and clubs throughout the town, as the municipality pull out all the stops to give locals and visitors alike the chance to rejoice. As we all countdown to the big day, here are some highlights in the lead up to the Grand Carnival Parade!
1. Serenaders in Limassol neighbourhoods and quarters
Serenaders will be spreading the cheer as they walk through various Limassol neighbourhoods with a guitar in hand on February 26th at 7.30pm, from Zakaki to Ayios Nikolaos. At 8pm, have your craziest and funniest masks at the ready, as the municipality are organising a ‘crazy mask’ parade in collaboration with the ‘Lemesos’ newspaper. The parade will begin at Municipal University Library (Ayiou Andreou St) and end at the Medieval Castle Square.
2. Evening carnival parade
Get all dressed up after the sun goes down over the coastline with a parade that starts at 7.30pm on February 27th at Grigori Afxentiou Square (in front of the District Office Building) and ends at the Medieval Castle Square with a carnival ball at 8.30pm. The Batukinio percussion instruments group and the Limassol Majorettes invite you to sing and dance along with their orchestra to the rhythms of popular carnival songs, followed by an unforgettable evening ball with 10 great musicians. Awards will be given to the three participants donning the best, craziest and most creative mask!
3. Children’s Choirs
Head down with the kids to the Pattichio Municipal Theatre for an evening of serenades and carnival songs at 7.30pm on February 28th by various children’s choirs including Dreams’ Choir ‘Melodies kai Chromata’, the Children’s Choir of the Papadakion Municipal School of Music, the Music Workshop, Children’s Choir and Piccolo of Epilogi, the Armonia Choir and the Music Horizons School – Ayia Fyla branch.
4. Grand carnival parade
The moment that everyone has been waiting for! The grandest event of them all: the big carnival parade. All the action is set to take place on March 1st down Archbishop Makarios III Avenue, starting at 1pm at Ayios Nikolaos roundabout and ending at the Polemidia Traffic Lights. The parade will be led by King Lemesios, the ‘Maharaja of the city’, with countless floats and bands following the leader!
Prepare to move and grove with carnival music pumping across town, as you set your sights on extravagant floats, groups of people dancing in outrageous gear, a brass band, percussion instrument groups, and the list goes on.
5. Farewell Carnival Fiesta
If you’re feeling a bit under the weather when it comes to bidding carnival farewell, worry not, as there’s a farewell carnival fiesta to keep you grooving until the wee hours on March 1st at the Old Port Square at 9pm. And if you’ve gone all out with your costume, you may well be up for some recognition, as awards will be given to the best three participants.
For the full programme of this year’s Limassol Carnival celebrations visit www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy. Do keep in mind that the programme is subject to unexpected changes. For further info call: 77777788