17 February 2014 14:19

Ayia Napa's municipal council is hoping to turn the holiday resort into a household name next summer as its looks to host the biggest ever sirtaki event in the world.
Success would mean a place in the Guinness Book of Records and considerable promotion abroad.
Mayor Ioannis Karousos said the municipal council had decided that the event would be held in August. The aim is to host an event which will ensure the name of Ayia Napa is heard throughout the world, he said.
The municipality's cultural officer Maria Tofini said that the initiative aims to restore the 'crown' to Ayia Napa for the biggest participatory dance event to the sounds of Mikis Theodorakis  Zorba the Greek - the ever popular sirtaki.
Ayia Napa had first won the Guinness title in September 2007, when its harbour area hosted 268 dancers of all ages, men and women, locals and visitors, dancing sirtaki.
Since then, other towns have sought to break the record, with the number of participants rising steadily. The record was last broken in Australia two years ago with the participation of 1607 joining in the Greek dance. About 18 months ago Greece's Volos Municipality tried to win back the title with an event on the quay, but were unable to outnumber the Australians.
Tofini said that in order to protect its plans for possible imitators, Ayia Napa would be keeping details under wraps until the last minute.
But she said that a lot of preparatory work has already taken place and already hundreds of dancers and members of cultural clubs and other associations from the free Famagusta area have said they will be participating.
The exact date has still not been decided, but organisers plan to stage it in Ayia Napa square, some time in August. Roads around the square will be closed, so that it can accommodate the large number of guests that the municipality is hoping will take part.
Lakis Avraamides, spokesman of the Famagusta Tourism Development Company welcomed the initiative and urged the CTO and other bodies to support it.


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