This year is the 50th anniversary of the Molfetta Carnival Festival. A parade was held on Sunday and a repeat show will take place this afternoon at 3p.m. There are four of these large floats made of papier-mache by Molfettan craftsmen, collaborating for the first time this year with the float-makers of Putignano (an Apulian town where Italy's oldest Carnival festival is held). Denny Mendez (Miss Italy 1996) will be presenting the parade today. After the parade a Fat Tuesday party will be held in the basketball arena with music, dancing and an appearance by the Cuban singer Miguel Enriquez.
Every town that holds a Carnival festival has its own carnival character. In Molfetta we have "U Toeme." I'm sorry I don't have a photo of him for you, but basically he looks like a scarecrow stuffed with newspaper and straw. He lies dead on a cart pulled by hand, surrounded by mourners, because his is a funeral procession. He represents the Carnival itself and is the very last float in the parade, symbolising the end of the festivities. At the end of the parade he is burned.
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