VOLUNTEERS have been putting together the finishing touches on 14 colourful floats that will take to the streets on Friday night for Gibraltar’s Three Kings’ Cavalcade.

Apart from the 14 trailer floats, there will be four walking shows and three bands as well as the three king’s thrones and a crib to show its roots in the religious feast of the Epiphany.

Before the floats start to parade down Main Street, a Ministry of Culture van will distribute sweets of their own at 7pm.

Floats can distribute sweets in the starting location of Casemates Square.

It will start the slow pace of the cavalcade that every year fills Gibraltar’s historic central shopping street with loud music and costumed participants on creatively designed floats.

Family effort

One of the favourites for this year’s prizes is an ornately designed float about the cartoon and video game character Super Mario.

Created by a group of 12 people that call themselves ‘The Family’ they seem to have thought of every detail.

“Everybody has their own thing to do,” the group’s leader Zyna Smith told The Olive Press.

“We have two painters to do the backdrop, others that put on the lights, and as my daughter is doing art for her GCSEs and my son is studying to be an art teacher, they both do their bit.”

The group spent most of the Christmas holidays doing up their float at the covered coach parking at Mid-Town Car-park.

SUPER MARIO: The Family’s float could be looking to win one of the top prizes

“Everything is very expensive but just seeing the kids’ faces on the day makes it all worth it,” Smith said.

“The worst part is that after so many days working we then have to take everything down in just a few hours.”

“Every year I say I am going to take a break but then I just do it all again.”

Funding fears

Main organiser Eric Abudharam, now in his 40th year in the Cavalcade Association, is trying to buy smaller trailers that can be towed by four-wheel-drives.

“We’ve got to be very, very thankful to those who provide us with a trailer or a flatbed lorry for the simple reason that they run a business and obviously they cannot leave a lorry or just a trailer here for two weeks,” Abudharam says.

“Hence the idea of getting smaller trailers that don’t need a big cab to pull it along.”

SMALL BUT COMPACT: These new floats could be a game-changer for the Cavalcade organisers

The general funding is another problem the organisers have to tackle every year.

“This year we got funding of £12,000 from GBC Open Day and we also get support from the government and sponsors, but it’s never enough,” he moans.

“There is a lot more bureaucracy involved too – from security, safety, checking everything before we set off.

“But it’s worth it to give something back to the community,” he adds.

Living the game

Blythe Reeves is organising one of the three child entries with his Laser Tag entertainment company.

He told The Olive Press his float tries to show how the kids are spending too much time playing video games when in fact they could be playing outdoors more.

“Kids can’t do their homework for ten minutes but play Fortnite for nine hours,” he says.

But he argues that often adults are often to blame for that.

LIVE THE GAME: Float creators want to urge adults to encourage children to get outside

“We put signs on the patios about ‘strictly no cycling, no skating, no running, no playing, no kids,’” Reeves said.

“But we want kids to be playing outdoors – that’s our message.

“Don’t play the game – live the game!” he exclaims.

The Gibraltar Cavalcade starts at 7.30pm, winding its way from Casemates to John Mackintosh Hall.

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