The Patras Carnival has kicked off in the port city on Greece’s western coast, with people turning out in droves to attend the first fun-filled events that launched the carnival season in the city’s Georgiou Square. Patras Mayor Kostas Peletidis declared the official start of festivities on Saturday night, pledging to continue efforts to “develop and renew” the carnival, while avoiding commercialisation and “keeping it in the hands of the people and youth of Patras”.
The central theme of this year’s carnival will be unemployment, which is especially prominent in Patras and especially among its young people, he said.
The carnival opening ceremony began with Patras drama school students performing carnival songs, followed by fireworks and a concert by the band “Los Cubaneros”. The “chocolate-throwers” made their customary annual appearance, distributing chocolates to the assembled throngs, and the evening ended with an outdoor party on Georgiou Square, with the carnival atmosphere lasting late into the night.