Get ready to welcome 2012 at the Joburg Carnival

Now in its eighth year, the annual Joburg Carnival is a celebration of dance, costumes, music and poetry that brings an explosion of colour to the streets of Johannesburg on New Year's Eve.

This year the theme Jozi my Jozi 125 is geared to celebrate the city’s 125th birthday, with each participating region contributing its flavor, flags and floats to the festival.

More than 2 000 carnival participants from Johannesburg’s seven regions are expected to converge on Kotze Street in Hillbrow. The troupes of performers will be depicting their regions with colourful costumes, flags, floats, choreographed dancing, music and poetry. Each region has its own sub-theme, and will have its own mini-carnival in the weeks leading up to New Year's Eve.

The mini-carnivals kick off on Tuesday 20 December in the Alex, Sandton and Norwood areas with their theme, Siya Da! (We are going there!)

The next day sees Soweto celebrating its theme, Going Green.

On Thursday, 22 December, Midrand and Ivory Park display their theme, Shuku Shuku (shake shake) Seed to City.

The Westbury, Riverlea area comes alive on 23 December with its interpretation of Jozi Chameleon 125.

On Tuesday 27 December, the Roodepoort/Braamfischer region celebrates Going Green, Going Clean, followed by the Inner City Evolution with its theme Revolution.

On 29 December Lenasia, Eldos and Orange Farm celebrate with Untold Stories, and Milpark Skills Development with Indigenous Games.

“The 2011 carnival will be bigger and better than ever!” says Alba Letts, Joburg Carnival's acting director.

“Come and join us and support the participants who have been working long, exhausting hours to design and build costumes, and rehearse their moves for the big day. Join Joburg as we celebrate 125 years and see in the 126th year of Joburg's official existence.” 

The parade will start at noon in Kotze Street, downtown Joburg, and make its way across the Nelson Mandela Bridge to the Newtown Precinct. It will end in Newtown Park with troupes from different regions competing for various prizes. There are prizes for the best large costume, best troupe costume, best overall interpretation of the sub-themes and best choreography.

Don't miss bringing in the New Year in style! Stay informed about developments via the Joburg Carnival Facebook page.