Goa Carnival: 50,000 people participate

Panaji: Around 50,000 people basked in the festivities for the first day of the Carnival festival here today.

Floats, dancers and artistes dressed in fancy clothes marched past Dayanand Bandodkar road alongside the picturesque Mandovi River this evening. The parade was flagged off by the state Chief Minister Digamber Kamat in the presence of Tourism Minister Fransisco Pacheco.

The Goa Tourism Development Corporation, in association with local civic body ? City Corporation of Panaji (CCP) had put up this annual parade, in which around 50 groups participated.

Rest of the main cities of Goa will host the parade for the next three days, when mythological imaginary figure King Momo will rule over the state. The main float had King Momo on it which followed other creative floats. The State Tourism Department, which conceived this event as a major tourist attraction, sponsors the main float, which will go around the state for the next three days.

Mark Dias, a bar tenderer of a cruise ship, has been selected to don as a King Momo, who will lead all the float parades in the state this year.State Tourism Minister Pacheco said that the event has been a big tourist drawer and being unique to Goa. The event has been marketed worldwide.

A strong policemen security was in place along the road as the three-hour-long parade went on peacefully.