SUMMER CARNIVAL: HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES, TRADITIONAL COMPETITIONS AND MORE

Ever-growing in popularity, the Summer Carnival will take place in two localities. The undoubted highlight will be the ġostra, which is to take place on Friday and Saturday at around 6pm in Buġibba Square. It will be followed by a parade featuring carnival floats and dance companies, which on Friday starts at 7:30pm and will proceed along Islet Promenade till Santana Hotel. On the next day, the Saturday, the defilè will start from next to Santana Hotel at 7:30pm, and will then move along to Islet Promenade, culminating in Buġibba Square. The ġostra competitors will climb a long pole smeared in fat, in an attempt to reach the flag placed at its far end. Those who reach the flag get a prize, those who slip end up in the sea.

But before that, Festivals Malta is offering a ‘Hands-On Summer Carnival Experience’. There will be a number of stands  along the Marsascala promenade on Sunday 12 and Monday 13 August from 7:30pm, where the public, especially children, can learn about papier-mâché, clay modelling, mask painting and balloon figures, along with a variety of activities. The public will be encouraged to take part and after each demonstration, to try their hand at one of the carnival crafts.

In addition, the National Literacy Agency is inviting the public to a storytelling event at Jacob’s Brew café. These stories, which will be animated and brought to life through diverse means, will be recited on Sunday 12 August for children aged between four and seven, and on Monday 13 August for children aged up to three years old. Due to limited space, the organisers are calling interested participants to reserved a space by calling 2598 2990 or emailing aqra.storja@ilearn.edu.mt.

The following week, after the floats and competitions, the Carnival will move to the Marsascala promenade on Sunday 19 August. The celebrations open at 7pm with a street parade all along the promenade in Salini Street. Starting next to the local council, the parade will make its way towards the area known as is-simenta, where there will be dance performances and shows by the members of the respective floats. The Marsascala Band as will perform. Patrons can park next to Inspire, in front of the St Anthony Family Part in St Anthony Street as well in the park’s car park. There will be a park and ride service.

As in past years there will be decorative floats, some of which will be accompanied by their respective dance companies. The summer floats are smaller than those of the Winter Carnival and are created specifically for this particular carnival, with summer-related themes. Participants hail from many locations, and most of them also participate in the Winter Carnival. This year there will also be two floats that featured in the Gozo Carnival, as together with the Gozo Ministry, there will also be celebrations in Mġarr, Gozo on Saturday 1 September.