Carnevale weekend

FREMANTLE Carnevale, Perth’s only “theatrically presented traditional Carnevale” will start this Saturday and has some big surprises, says creative director Ross McAllum.

The Carnevale tradition was born hundreds of years ago to mark the end of Lent, the period when Catholics give up indulgences (though it probably pre-dates Christianity as a pagan celebration).

People were given license to “go crazy” for 10 days, drinking, eating and criticising authority, something that would usually have them thrown in gaol.

Fremantle’s version of the traditional Latin festival may run to a smaller and more sedate scale than its world-famous counterparts in Rio and Venice, but people should still expect serious fun and revelry, says McAllum.

The big surprise to be revealed during Saturday’s parade is, who will be the 2016 King of Carnevale. Honoring the Carnevale tradition of criticising authority, the King is a public figure or “pompous fool” in Australian society who is to be satirised during the festival, and eventually “executed” on the last day of Carnevale, says McAllum.

Past Kings include Wilson Tuckey, Andrew Forrest, Alan Jones and Clive Palmer, and McAllum says this year’s is a “massively known Fremantle character”.

Fremantle Carnevale’s merriment will begin with the parade, starting at 6pm outside the Town Hall, which then leads on to the masked ball at 7pm at Victoria Hall. A mix of music will be played at the ball, by Fado group Luiza com Saudade, Cuban group El Medio Son, and Carnevale regulars Junkadelic, who will bring “Voodoo you think you are?” which honours the voodoo culture of Haiti and New Orleans.

Visit for tickets, and remember to bring your mask!


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