Carri allegorici

The return of the masked float parades in Dese and the first children’s shows at Teatro Sant’Ilario in Malcontenta

The 2023 edition of the Venice Carnival, entitled “Take Your Time for the Original Signs” which will take place from 4 to 21 February 2023, sees the return of one of its most beloved events, the parades of masked floats. Starting on Sunday, January 29, calli and campi, streets and squares all over the city, from the islands of the lagoon – Lido, Pellestrina and Burano – to the mainland – Campalto, Mestre, Zelarino and Marghera – will be animated by a rich program of spectacular parades and masked figures. Also, Teatro Sant’Ilario in Malcontenta, will be the protagonist of many events that will let you spend the festivities together with your family, thanks to the program drawn up by the Cultural Association “La Malcontenta”, in collaboration with Vela Spa and the Comune di Venezia.

The first event is scheduled for Sunday, January 29, from 2.30 to 3.30 PM in Dese. A total of 120 masked people will parade through the town centre streets, accompanying the allegorical float created by the parish of Natività di Maria and entitled “Fiesta”, as a homage to Mexican culture. Mariachis, sombreros and typical Latin American costumes will transport spectators young and old to the other side of the world for an hour. The manifestation will start in Via delle Garzette, in order to arrive at Piazzale della Chiesa Natività di Maria, where entertainment and refreshment stands will await all those who wish to take part in the Carnival celebrations. At the end of the parade, prizes will also be awarded to the most beautiful mask, to those who worked hardest in organising the event, and to the largest group.
On Thursday, February 16, the allegorical floats will move to Pellestrina: starting at 3 PM, they will animate the island’s main square, Piazza Sant’Antonio. It will be an afternoon of entertainment, shows and music to celebrate in style, with street artists and performances for all tastes: jugglers, giant soap bubbles, fakirs, fire-eaters, clowns, comedy sketches and illusionism. To close this event on a sweet note, there will be frittelle and galani for everyone, as well as a final musical performance.
The following day, Friday, February 17, fun and entertainment for young and old alike will be at the Lido di Venezia, where the parade of allegorical floats and masked figures will take place from 5 to 6 PM. The meeting point will be along the Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta.
On the weekend of the Settimana Grassa, the parades will be present in Burano, with a first exit in Via Galuppi on Saturday, February 18 at 8.30 PM, to be followed by a second event on Sunday, February 19 at 3.30 PM in front of the island’s church. On the mainland, instead, the allegorical floats will animate the streets of Marghera on Saturday at 3 PM, involving the city streets between Piazza Mercato and Piazza Municipio. On Sunday at 2 PM they will move to Campalto, from Via Orlanda via Passo Campalto and Via Bagaron. The arrival is scheduled at Piazzale della Chiesa.
A great novelty this year, the allegorical floats will also arrive in the centre of Mestre. The appointment is for Monday, February 20 at 3.30 PM, with scheduled departure from Via Piave, then via Circonvallazione, Via Einaudi, Via San Rocco, and ending in Via San Pio X.
Finally, on Shrove Tuesday, the merriment and fun of the allegorical floats will also arrive in Zelarino, passing through the Polo shopping centre, along Via Castellana, and ending in front of the church of Maria Immacolata. The event is scheduled to start at 2.45 PM. A third and final exit of the masked floats, accompanied by a parade of masked groups of people, is also scheduled at 8.30 PM along via Galuppi in Burano.
And the Carnival of Venice will also arrive in Malcontenta, with an ad hoc line-up. The shows at Teatro Sant’Ilario in Malcontenta will start on Sunday, January 29 at 4 PM with “Il gatto con gli stivali” (“Puss in Boots”), an adaptation of the well-known fairy tale for children elaborated by the company “Aigor Teatro”, based in Padua. Born in 2011 and having previous experience in the production of animated stories, this association aims at revisiting classic and modern fairy tales in a non-Disneyan way, resulting in entertaining, articulated and colourful shows that capture the audience of both children and parents.
The following week, on Sunday, February 5 at 4 PM, the stage will welcome “The town of weirdos”, a story for children created by the company “Ullallà Teatro” of Vicenza, an association that brings together actors, musicians, dancers, writers, video artists, professionals in animation, all with different experiences behind.
Moreover, to animate the spaces of the Teatro Sant’Ilario on Sunday, February 12 at 4 PM it will be the turn of “Pinocchio”, the famous fairy tale for children in an adaptation of “Barabao Teatro”, a theatrical company focused on movement and creativity inspired by the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq.
On Tuesday, February 21 the celebrations of the Carnival will reach their peak at 2.30 PM with the parade of masks through the streets of Malcontenta. This will be an opportunity for adults and children to masquerade as their favourite characters, spending time together and enjoying the Mardi Gras. The meeting place will be at the churchyard of Sant’Ilario, from where the event will then start. Afterwards, Teatro Sant’Ilario will host the grand finale of the Carnival 2023, with the magic show of “Il Mago più birichino che ci sia” (“The Most Mischievous Wizard in the World”), with free entry.

For more information, please check the full program.


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