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Carnival services, venues, routes agreed upon

Pending issues that were threatening to disrupt carnival have been resolved after Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco saw to it that the organisers’ concerns were seen too, according to the association of carnival participants.

The logistics of next year’s carnival have been agreed upon, water and electricity services will be installed at Luqa float stores in the coming days and applications for the 2012 carnival competitions can be submitted as from tomorrow.

On Saturday, carnival organisers had given the government until tomorrow to reply on long-standing issues. The Għaqda Parteċipanti Karnival had said it would not to negotiate after this ultimatum expired, threatening the very existence of the traditional Maltese carnival.

Enthusiasts had no clue as to whether carnival would be held in Valletta due to ongoing regeneration works and the government had yet not issued a call for applications for the construction of the floats.

However, association president Jason Busuttil yesterday said that following a meeting with the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, the routes for carnival floats had been agreed upon and talks about a proposed Carnival village in Kordin would kick off in a week’s time.

Enthusiasts have also been facing problems with the spaces allocated to them to build the floats. Fort St Elmo, where the majority of the floats are built, was in a dangerously dilapidated state. A site in Kordin has been earmarked for the storage of all floats to bring the 33 float builders together under one roof.

Another issue of concern was that stores in Luqa had no water and electricity and there were no indications whether the ongoing road works at Pinto Wharf would be completed by February to allow floats built there to be brought out of storage.

Mr Busuttil said both issues had been resolved: utility services will be installed at the Luqa stores and the road works will be ready by February.

He added that some float dimensions would be amended to allow for freer manoeuvring through streets, while floats accompanied by dancing troupes will tour the city through Merchant and Republic streets.

The dancing competitions, usually held in Freedom Square, and which this year were held next to the Tritons Fountain, will be held at the Granaries in Floriana while the floats will proceed along St Publius Street, down to St Anne Street.

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