The super volcanic eruption of the ancient Mount Toba in North Sumatra during prehistoric times created an explosion that changed the course of the earth’s natural history. This year, the spectacular Lake Toba, where this great mountain once stood, will, instead resonate with a blast of festivities, since it will be the site for the culmination of Indonesia's 71st Independence Day commemoration that falls on 17th August 2016. Featuring the best of the archipelago, the anniversary will be celebrated in a spectacular event called the Lake Toba Independence Day Carnival 2016 scheduled to take place from 20th to 21st August 2016.
“If the pre-historic explosion once created the largest caldera lake in Indonesia and in the world, the blast on 20th-21st August 2016 will resound with the splendors of Lake Toba - one of Indonesia’s Top Ten national destinations – reverberating to the rest of the world. This time, its booster will be the Lake Toba Independence Day Carnival 2016”, promised Indonesia’s Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya.
Featuring representations from all 34 provinces of the Indonesian Archipelago, the Carnival will be attended by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo. The parade itself will start from Soposurung and finish at the Juara Monang Bridge. Highlighting the event will be musical performances from some of the country ’stop artists including Slank and Sammy Simorangkir, a traditional Batak Opera, decorated lantern parade, a culinary folk festival, and more.
The carnival will pass areas that offer some of the most fascinating panoramas on Lake Toba. The First is Balige in the Toba Samosir Regency which offers wonderful views of lush green rice paddies sloping steeply down to the vast lake on the horizon. The second location is at Parapat in Simalungun where one can watch traditional villages, and experience the legendary hospitality of the Batak people. “As far as you can see there is this vast stretch of clear blue water of the Lake surrounded by lush green hills. This event will be truly spectacular” commented Raseno Arya, Assistant Deputy for Special Market Segments Development at the Ministry of Tourism.
Adding to the spark of the carnival, a colossal stage will be set up,not on land but one floating right on the lake, somewhat off shore from Bebas Beach at Parapat, Simalungun Regency. Measuring 24 meters in length, 12 meters wide, with a height of 6 meters, the stage is not only similar in size to those constructed for huge concerts but it will also be the first and largest ever set on Lake Toba. This will be the stage where all artists and performers will showcase their wonderful talents.
Not only is Lake Toba a jaw-dropping monument of earth’s natural history, it is, moreover, a place that offers outstanding picturesque sceneries, relaxing cool fresh air, and the fascinating culture of the Batak ethnic group of North Sumatra.
To reach this prime tourist destination, today Garuda Indonesia and Sriwijaya Airlines operate direct flights from Jakarta to Silangit Toba. There are also Kuala Namu (Medan)-Silangit and Batam-Silangit flights served by Lion Air. Meanwhile Susi Air has served the Kuala Namu-Silangit flights for quite a while. Land connections are also continuously improved with the development of Kuala Namu-Tebing Tinggi Toll Road and the widening of the road from Pematang Siantar to the town of Parapat.