Extra punch: Wine festival at Goa Carnival this year

Panaji, Feb 4 (IANS) Celebrations at Goa’s popular carnival festival will pack an additional punch this year with the four-day event coinciding with a state government organised wine festival.

According to the tourism authorities here, the wine festival will be one of Asia’s biggest wine and lifestyle events.

Carnival celebrations will begin from February 6 with the popular parade in Panaji, which will witness 20 main sponsored floats and allied fun festivities organised in collaboration with experts from the United Kingdom and South Africa, according to Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar.

The ‘Grape Escapade 2016’ wine festival is being organised from February 4-7, by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation, a unit of the state tourism ministry.

“Grape Escapade is Asia’s biggest wine festivals where all the big names in the industry converge to dialogue, taste wines and engage in B2B with stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector,” corporation chairperson Nilesh Cabal said on Wednesday.

The wine festival, is expected to add to the excitement generated by the Carnival.

“A lot of hard work is being done this year to position Goa Carnival as a premier state tourism event and Goa Tourism is working on this project in association with Brouhaha International, an arts organization based in Liverpool,” Parulekar told reporters here.

The Carnival is symbolic of Goa’s colonial Portuguese legacy and is held every year before the holy season of Lent.

Goa was a Portuguese colony for over 450 years before it was liberated by the Indian Army in 1961.

“Carnaval is Goa’s tribute to its diverse population and heritage; it aims to spread a message of peace, unity and harmony,” Parulekar added.

The main Carnival float parade will be held in the state capital on February 6, followed by float parades in the other cities namely Margao on February 7, Vasco, Ponda and Curchorem on February 8 and Mapusa and Shiroda on February 9.

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