The Chandigarh Carnival will kick off on November 25 at Leisure Valley for three days of music, dance, and creative activities. At the Government College of Art, work is on at a hectic pace for the fair, with one of the highlights of the carnival — floats created by students — being given final touches on the campus. The theme of the carnival this year is ‘Fantasy’, and students are letting their imaginations go wild as they transform rickshaws in creative and colourful ways.
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The main theme is cartoon characters which are most popular with children. As many as 13 groups of students of the college have been working for two weeks to prepare for the carnival parade or procession around the city, which is followed by the main carnival.
The materials and rickshaws are provided by the college. The final floats will be the collective effort of more than 100 students involved in the project. Anureet, a fourth-year student of applied arts, along with her group says every year, ‘Chhota Bheem’ is one of the most popular floats.
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This year, apart from that character, students are working on Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, Popeye Ship, the Minions, Oggy and the Cockroaches and Pokemon, with the app making the latter a huge hit with children.
Students have been submitting their sketches to teachers for the floats, and using hard and soft bamboo used to create the frames, adding coloured sheets, accessories, and lights to complete the decorative look. Refreshments are provided three times a day.
The girls leave the campus by 6 pm, while the boys continue working till late at night. That’s why, when they divide the money earned from the rides over the three days, the boys get a bigger share, say three of the girls – Sanjana, Akriti and Mitali.
On an average, one ride costs Rs 40, and most children want to enjoy at least three rides. The students are hoping that the cash crunch will not affect their ‘earnings’.
The carnival, which is expected to have an attendance of more than 30,000 people, will have as many as 35 stalls, with a mix of activities for people of varied interests and age groups. While the big stage here will showcase performances in the evening by singers Neeraj Shridhar, Himesh Reshammiya and Babbu Maan, during the day, there will be poetry and folk music and dance performances.
The Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi will showcase paintings, sculptures, and installations by city artists, which have been a part of the Akademi’s collection and were created during various workshops and art camps.
Another feature of this year’s Carnival will be a ‘Shakespeare Mela’ by The British Council. Designed as part of Shakespeare Lives, a global programme to commemorate the 400th death anniversary of Shakespeare, the Mela will showcase the Council’s latest digital arts project, ‘Mix The Play’, an Indian interpretation of Shakespeare, which allows users to sit on the director’s seat and produce a scene from Romeo and Juliet, starring Kalki Koechlin and Adil Hussain.
Visitors can also look forward to an audio-visual creation, ‘The Globe Theatre’s Complete Walk’, an immersive, multi-screen experience where shots of Shakespeare’s 37 plays will be shown. “Through this mela, we want people to engage with the Bard in a more interactive and meaningful way,” said Gill Caldicott of the Council.
The Department of Tourism, which organises the annual carnival, also hopes to make people aware of organ donation at the carnival, through a few campaigns by the PGI and the Government Medical College. It is also arranging swipe card machines here, for the convenience of the public.