Cape Town is known globally as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, not only for its stunning natural treasures but also its warm and welcoming people.
It is relevant and topical, then, that the theme for the Cape Town Carnival 17 March 2018 is “Mother City, Mother Nature”. In March next year the Cape Town Carnival will proudly showcase the incredible beauty and diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom, as well as the diverse, resourceful and determined people of the Mother City. Carnival-goers can expect to be wowed by massive floats ranging from a depiction of Mother Nature with the seed of life in her hands, through the spectacular indigenous flowers of the region to the “tree of life” that connects us all. Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, says, “The Cape Town Carnival celebrates our vibrant, dynamic city bringing people from all over Cape Town together and enhances our efforts of building an inclusive city. We’re proud to be part of an event that attracts visitors to our city and contributes to job creation and economic growth.” Brad Baard, creative director of the Cape Town Carnival, says, “Next year’s Cape Town Carnival theme, ‘Mother City, Mother Nature’, emphasises the unique identity of Cape Town and its cultural diversity, plus what we create together: a welcoming, inclusive, creative city, consciously connected to nature and each other.” The critical state of Cape Town’s municipal water supply will also be highlighted during the Carnival. “The Western Cape Government runs numerous awareness campaigns to address the severe drought that the city of Cape Town is enduring, and the ‘Mother City, Mother Nature’ theme ties in perfectly with this, highlighting our dependence on nature,” says Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape Province. “All South Africans need to be aware of this precious natural resource and support water-saving initiatives.”
The Cape Town Carnival’s environmental awareness extends beyond the theme, with the float-builders and costume-makers making extensive use of recycled and repurposed materials to craft the unforgettable parade artworks every year, and harvesting rainwater to sustain the carnival workshop. This year’s Cape Town Carnival was attended by more than 45 000 enthusiastic spectators who flocked in from around Cape Town and the rest of the province, South Africa and all across the world. Families and groups of friends arrived early to get the best viewpoints along the route for a perfect view, and to buy delicious food and drink, fun memorabilia and sweet treats from the street vendors. “The Cape Town Carnival creates jobs, brings people together and entertains in a heartfelt manner,” says Cape Town Carnival CEO Jay Douwes, noting that the Carnival supports entrepreneurs and small businesses, and generated work for 1 172 people in 2017. Rachel Jafta, chairperson of the Cape Town Carnival Trust, says, “The Cape Town Carnival is a beacon of unity and hope. It expresses and reflects the cultural diversity and creativity found in the city. Year after year, I see our dream coming to life because the people of Cape Town rise to the occasion.” Sponsors of the Cape Town Carnival event include the Department of Arts and Culture, MNet, DStv, the Western Cape Government, Tsogo Sun and Kfm.