Narisa Nitikarn
Pattaya Carnival 2007 is scheduled for May 4 to 6, with the avowed intent being to attract international visitors to the city and to make this a more international and exciting event than it has been in previous years.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay chaired a meeting of the organizing committee on January 11. Amongst those taking part were Pratheep Malhotra, managing director of Pattaya Mail Publishing Co Ltd, Thanet Supornsahasrungsri, president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, Kamlar Benjawanich, chairman of the Pattaya Isaan Club, and Drew Noyes of the Pattaya City Expats Club.
Verawat said that May 5 will see a parade of floats, and that shows at Bali Hai Pier and stands selling international goods would be the main attractions.
Pratheep has been appointed the main coordinator in foreign matters, and Noyes will be in charge of organizing attractions designed specifically to draw in the foreign visitors.
This year’s carnival is being deliberately angled in a more international direction, as it was felt that in previous years the event had too local a flavor and too many local participants to generate mass interest in the foreign markets, or indeed to call itself a genuine carnival.
Pratheep said that as it would be difficult to try to create a Rio-type carnival, Pattaya Carnival should reflect international culture, traditions and lifestyles, with a little commerce thrown in for good measure.
Along with making the carnival of interest to overseas visitors, the event would present the best of Thai products by bringing top quality goods from the four main regions to be placed on display.
Pratheep also said that the public relations campaign must generate interest by showing potential visitors this is a genuine carnival and by putting out extensive information on the daily activities.
Verawat said that a further meeting would be held in February to agree on the details so they can be publicized well in advance. He said that foreign embassies in Thailand would be contacted, requesting them to coordinate with their respective cultural ministries and chambers of commerce to assist in bringing cultural and carnival dance troupes and exhibition groups to participate.
The foreign diplomatic corps have often asked what could be done to enhance the good relations between their countries and Thailand, especially Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard. The answer is for them to join with the Thai people in a festival of cultural exchanges by bringing in dance troupes, organizing food festivals and of course the ever-important commercial networking which would create an atmosphere of fun and friendship.
International schools could also be asked to participate in the carnival. They are known for putting on some excellent shows that depict various cultures around the world.
The three-day carnival would include stage performances by the different carnival groups while businesses from international and Thai companies would be offered booths free of charge to display and promote their products from their respective countries with prices maintained at very low rates.

Pattaya Mail