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Cape Town’s annual iconic street parade, the Cape Town Carnival, took place along the fan parade on Saturday.

The event aimed to combine entertainment, cultural enrichment and community spirit in the city.

Announcing “Lekker” as the theme for the 2024 Cape Town Carnival, Cape Town Carnival CEO Jay Douwes said:

“We talked about potential themes with artists, performers and community leaders, and it became very clear that everyone wanted a fun theme that represents who we are and what matters to us,” he said.

“And what matters to us is our diverse people, our rich culture, undeniable beauty and our knee-slapping sense of humour”.

The 2024 event featured 44 groups – with a total of more than 1 400 performers.

The groups ranged from marching bands to dance crews, with some accompanied by spectacular floats.

The social and economic impact of the Cape Town Carnival

The Cape Town Carnival is a non-profit organisation that has partnered with the City of Cape Town since 2010.

Acting Mayor Eddie Andrews acknowledged its importance in Cape Town’s annual line-up of events.

“The economic and social impact is essential, but for the performers you can’t buy the kind of confidence that performing in front of tens of thousands of people creates,” Andrews said.

“These events are attended by national and international guests, who stay in our hotels, spend money at our eateries, support our informal traders – that economic injection is important.”

The glitzy annual street parade is said to contribute around R50 million to the local economy.

For a closer look at the creative process behind the Carnival, the organisation ran a social media campaign called #followyourheART.

The campaign focuses on 20 of the participating community groups, highlighting their passion, dedication, and what a life-changing experience it can be to participate in the event.

“The Cape Town Carnival is a beautifully layered phenomenon that brings a lot of joy,” says Cape Town Carnival Board Chair, Prof Rachel Jafta.

“It has taught me that economic impact is so much more than the direct spend on the event. It also offers opportunities for skills transfer, job creation and above all,
building social cohesion.”

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