Aliens, folk dancers and merrymaking at Chandigarh carnival

Chandigarh: Floats depicting aliens and spaceships, folk dancers and students dressed up as Hollywood and Bollywood characters - a colourful parade passed through Chandigarh Friday, kicking off a three-day annual carnival.

`Science Fiction` is the theme for this year`s carnival and its punchline is `Chandigarh ahead of times`. Flagged off at the sprawling Leisure Valley grounds here in Sector 10, the parade comprising folk dancers and college students kept the city`s residents entertained.

A decorated double-decker, meant for taking tourists around the city, was also part of the parade.

The students were dressed as characters from Hollywood and Bollywood films while some wore masks and carnival caps. Multi-coloured tableaux and floats of different shapes rolled out, depicting aliens, spaceships, satellites and animated characters.

"The environment is very lively and everyone is busy in merrymaking. The whole city has come out to celebrate the carnival parade," Mayank Sood, who was stranded in a traffic jam due to the parade, told reporters.

The Organisers are expecting over 200,000 visitors to the carnival, which will also see the participation of several countries.

"We are expecting over 200,000 visitors in the carnival. Special emphasis has been laid on the theme of science fiction. Over 30 stalls have been given the shape of pentagons, with the roof in the shape of a spaceship. A 25-foot high entry gate is made in the shape of a huge robot to welcome the visitors," an official of Chandigarh tourism department here said Friday.

"A special film city on the theme of science fiction has been set up in the carnival village. There will be a dinosaur, which will welcome the visitors with his roar and bloodshot eyes at the gate of the film city," he said.

Other attractions at the carnival include cultural shows, an amusement park, food court, musical nites, games, children`s traffic park, face painting and mask making workshops and a vintage car show.

Prominent comedians and Bollywood singers will also participate in star nites Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.