This year the Patra city hall expects over 45 thousand visitors at the annual carnival. On January 30 and 31, 150 carnival artists will arrive in Athens as part of the promotional program of the festival. The winter fiesta started on January 17 and will end officially on February 14. This year's carnival is unusually short due to the early date of Easter.
The Patra carnival has a history of 180 years. The holiday is associated with the ancient pagan ritual, which is associated with the worship of the God of wine Dionysus, who must awaken and bring spring. It includes various events, performances and colorful parades of different carnival groups from all over the world. Since 1996, the festival includes a children's program Baby Rally, which includes an exciting events for young participants. Children's festival city, seminars on art, theater performances and exhibitions of children's creations have been organized for the little ones. Total over ten thousand children and their families take an active part in the festival events. An interesting fact is that since last year conducted is the "Dance of the Ambassadors," in which official representative from different countries take part in the festival program. In 2009 the official ambassadors of Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Venezuela danced to the rhythms of the carnival music.
So far, the carnival has been organized by the City Hall of Patra. From next year a separate organization will be created, which will deal with the organization of the festival all year-round. The organization will assume management of the festival workshop, which not only covers the needs of the festival, but also executes orders for abroad. Currently the workshop has fifteen people permanent staff of artists, sculptors, carpenters and other craftsmen, and contracts and when there are orders, the employed staff increases to up to forty people.