Now that the fun-filled week of ‘Kuska’ has come and gone – the dust might have settled, but the memories of a jam packed programme of dancing, music, colourful costumes and laughter still lingers in the air.
With the crowning of the new Prince and Princess of Kuska being one of the highlights of this German traditional festival, which celebrated its 33rd anniversary in Swakopmund this year. The message that there is “always time for a party”, was loud and clear.
With 150 men, women and children actively taking part in the Kuska stage productions, and full programme held throughout the week-long celebrations – the theme “Lasst Die Puppen Tanzen”, got everyone in the mood to dance. The grand finale and huge crowd puller, was once again the carnival float procession through the town, and if you were on the streets this past Saturday – it certainly didn’t disappoint. With around 30 participating floats this year, that nearly reached the 33 year-old mark, this was rated as one of the biggest processions staged in a long time. The winning float was a fantastic jumbo sized elephant, created by “Namibia Tracks & Trails” tour and safari operators, who also donated their prize money to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals SPCA. In fact the SPCA were also out in full force this year with staff members and volunteers walking dozens of adoptable dogs on leashes, whilst paw-print balloons and fancy dress drew a lot of attention.
From horse-back riders, to largely decorated busses, bakkies, trucks with blaring music and everyone dressed up in costume, the carnival brigade was led by the 12 leggy ‘Garde Girls’, who marched in unison behind the traffic escort. Even the Municipality entered a fitting “Welcome to Swakopmund” float complete with palm tree, lighthouse, a street sign and their ladies all dressed up for the occasion.
Reiner Piepmeyer, the festival chairperson, says an immense amount of work goes into putting on the carnival each year, with an organising team of about 40 people involved from beginning to end. “We are so happy that this year went off so well, and that we are able to bring so much fun to the people,” he says.