Panaji, Feb 9 (IBNS) Over a lakh revelers including locals and tourists from across the globe have descended on the streets of Panaji to witness the 2013 Carnival float parade moving merrily along the picturesque Mandovi riverside.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar flagged off the festival, which is religiously held annually four days before the Ash Wednesday. King Momo led the multi coloured procession comprising of about 100 floats.
A special Bollywood float featuring celebrities - Neha Dhupia, Sayali Bhagat, Tanushree Dutta and Isha Koppikar - among others is the attraction this year.
With a blend of Latin theme, the artistic floats brightly coloured are travelling through the four kms stretch and people dressed in elaborate costumes, dancing to the samba rhythms.
Depicting rich tradition of Goa, the floats are also carrying social messages like saving girl child, stop deforestation, et al.
The highlight of the parade is antismoking campaign and a huge paper machie dummy hanging from a makeshift gallows with a noose, urging 'death' as the punishment for rapists.
This comes in the backdrop of over 15 cases of rape including that of a seven year old student in the school toilet, murder and molestation reported in the state in the last one month.
The parade will go on till about 9pm followed by entertainment programs which include fashion show by Goan-born internationally famed fashion designer Wendell Rodricks, live band and others.
The government is also hosting Food and Cultural Event on the sidelines of the Carnival fest, in the outskirts of the capital. The festival will move to Margao, Ponda, Mapusa and Vasco in the next three days.
(Reporting by John Edwards)
Photo caption: Carnival masks placed all over Goa capital Panaji is just a portion of an impressive decoration with the entire city dressed up for the festival with colourful artwork.