HERE it is again!
The Hibiscus carnival — dubbed the Mother of all Festivals.
This year's week-long Vodafone Hibiscus Festival with the theme 'Overcoming Non-Communicable Diseases in Fiji' officially opens at Suva's Albert Park this afternoon.
Organisers have promised a fun-filled, entertaining and educational week for everyone who will be visiting the park.
Pre-events began yesterday with the contestants research topic presentation at the Pasifika Campus in Suva.
Vodafone Fiji sponsorship manager Ligavatu Gukisuva said as of yesterday, 98 per cent of work had been done.
"This year, the Hibiscus Festival is going to be bigger and better. It has continued to live up to the status as the premier festival of Fiji," Mr Gukisuva said.
He said there was a lot to expect.
Trademark food stalls, amusement rides, fun activities for the children, various entertainment and educational exhibitions, and a special tent set up to preach the message of good health and other medical check-ups by a team of professionals.
A new inclusion that has got to be the best of the festival this year is that Albert Park will be a Wi-Fi zone — enabling mobile users to access and update their social networking sites about the festival. Mobile owners are advised to visit the Vodafone stall to assist you with this.
"We are inviting the people of Fiji to come and be a part of this festival that is for a worthy cause. We expect people to come in and be a part of the vibrancy of the events — stakeholders participating this year have their unique forms of entertainment — a mixture of entertainment, education and a mixture of keeping your health as a priority," Mr Gukisuva said yesterday.
There will be a microfinance team to educate people of Fiji's economy and how they can be a part of it, also a team from the horticultural department of the Ministry of Agriculture to see how people can be a part of this booming sector, and many more.
Corporate bodies will also be a part of business house competitions organised during the week.
Mr Gukisuva said there would be quality shows this year as well.
"One of the things we can assure the people of Fiji is that every exhibition and entertainment will be unique and mind blowing with world class performance — people will not see the same thing twice," he said.
He said a team from Bollywood would be performing in a day during the week, the Pasifika Voices and also a live performance from sensational Fiji-born Australian diva Paulini Curuenavuli who is expected to jet into the country later next week.
He adds the best way to find out is to be at the ground, and for those who cannot make it to contribute via texting the word JEEP to 818 for a chance to win awesome prizes.
"At the end of this event, the money raised will not only be for charity here in Suva but for the greater population of Fiji."
The Vodafone Hibiscus 2012 will see about 100 stalls and exhibition booths and 20 amusement rides, not including fun activities for the children.
Concerned about security?
"Security is guaranteed for the safety of the people of Suva and we thank the Fiji police team. We will also be having a medical back-up team on stand-by," Mr Gukisuva said.
"So here we are and we are inviting all the people of Fiji to be a part of this worthy cause," he said.
The 2012 Vodafone Hibiscus Festival will end on August 25 with the crowning of the Hibiscus Queen and King.
This year, there are 15 contestants vying for the Hibiscus Queen title, 10 contestants for the King title, seven for the Lady Hibiscus title and 14 for Teens category.
1pm - Opening march from Sukuna Park
2pm - Official Opening at Albert Park by Minister of Health Dr Neil Sharma
7pm - Teens Talent Show; Hibiscus Tent; chief guest - Ministry of Education
7pm - Kaila Final Competition; Main Stage; chief guest - Fiji Times
6pm - Teens Public Judging; Main Stage - Ladies Public Judging; Hibiscus Tent
7pm - Inter Denomination Sing Along; Main Stage