PATONG: This year’s Phuket Carnival will take place from December 15 to 20 at Patong Beach, some six weeks after the traditional starting date of November 1.
Phuket Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukban said this year’s events will differ slightly from carnivals in past years, which have featured top rock acts including Modern Dog and even a performance once by the full Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.
Instead, this year’s entertainment will mostly feature displays of traditional Thai culture performed by university students brought in from various regions across the country. These will take place at the main stage at Loma Park as well as at two smaller stages: one near the police box on the beach at the foot of Soi Bangla and the other on the beach near the Holiday Inn resort.
This year’s carnival will be organized into a number of zones. These will include zones for One Tambon One Product (OTOP) sales, arts and culture displays, spa and massage services, and food and beverage services.
Deputy Mayor Chairat admitted that the heavy rains throughout last year’s carnival were the main reason for postponing the event until mid-December, when the chance of a rain-out is statistically remote.
Now in its 23rd year, this year’s event will be funded with 7 million baht from Patong Municipality, Mr Chairat said.
“It would be a shame to waste that much taxpayers’ money on an event that could be ruined by rain, and we are still getting a lot of rain even this far into November” he observed.
He added that the new municipal council executive officers had only recently taken up their positions after the local government formed following elections on July 27.
They therefore needed more time to plan the carnival as well as many other upcoming events. These include the three-day national mourning period for Her Royal Highness the late Princess Galyani Vadhana that begins next Friday, the Loy Kratong Festival on November 24 and celebrations for HM The King’s Birthday on December 5, he explained.
Apart from staged performances nightly from 7 am to 11 pm, other highlights of the Carnival this year will include:
December 15: Fireworks performance after dusk;
December16: Beach cleanup and a longtail boat competition off Loma Park, 9 am;
December 17: Adventure Competition, Loma Park, 9 am;
December 20: Fancy Parade along the beach road at 5 pm, finishing at Loma Park.
Mr Chairat said that the beach road would only be closed to traffic during the parade, remaining open during the rest of the event. Most of the activities will take place along the beach-side promenade.
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