According to an ATP official who preferred to remain anonymous, the enormous car cost about $5,000 and took over 30 days to decorate. The source consulted did not disclose the theme of the float, but it was learned that the decoration will revolve around some type of 16th century ship or galleon, the typical boat used by the Spanish in their conquering of the Americas.
In terms of attendance by foreign visitors, a statement by the ATP reported that they expect to exceed figures from the previous year, when 21,500 tourists came. The organizing board has invested heavily in this area. According to María del Carmen Ríos, president of the committee and general administrator of the ATP, 23 foreign journalists will be lodged in the city to widely cover the popular and touristy event.
The reporters are coming from Costa Rica, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico, England and other countries. In addition, “several local tourist agencies have been promoting eight packages to travelers from the United States, Canada and Europe,” said the Carnival Queen and new tourism ambassador for the isthmus, Virginia Hernández.
In total, the government has invested $2.75 million, of which $600,000 has been allocated for booking performers. Just the international artist for the final act alone will charge nearly half a million dollars. An additional $100,000 will be divided among the 129 local singers, groups and bands. Traffic authorities reported that the Coastal Strip, site of Carnival of the City, will be blocked from noon on Friday, February 8 until the dawn of Ash Wednesday. The carnival route extends from the Seafood Market to the intersection of 32nd Street and Balboa Boulevard.
This year's Carnival of the City has been dubbed "Discovery", a title that refers to what the Spaniard Vasco Núñez de Balboa did 500 years ago, when from a hill in the Darién he spied the Pacific Ocean, until then unknown to the Old World.