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Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Barranquilla prepares to party at carnival



Just one week remains until the start of one of Colombia's biggest cultural events - the Carnival of Barranquilla is set to take the city by storm at the beginning of February.
UNESCO named the carnival, held annually in the city of Barranquilla on Colombia's Caribbean coast, as one of the "Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity."
This year's celebration will be particularly special, as it coincides with the 200th anniversary of Colombian independence.
"It all starts on the Saturday with the Battle of the Flowers, a parade that goes down the main industrial street in Barranquilla, Via 40. This is about 40 blocks where performers show off their dancing, joy and humor. It's a stream of people, from all different backgrounds, who have just one mission: to have fun," explains Diego Gonzalez, a local professional.
Visitors to the carnival can also expect to see groups performing traditional and folkloric music and dance from all over the country, including cumbia, porro, mapale and fandango. Barranquilla's festivities are considered some of the most colorful and lively in the world and second in size only to those in Rio de Janeiro.
This year's carnival will run from February 1 to February 28.
 CAMILLA PEASE-WATKIN

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