Viareggio Carnevale Parade: Crazy Clown Tank

Papier Mache Crazy Clown Tank

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Carnevale Parade in Viareggio which boasts the largest papier maché floats in the world. It is also described as Halloween on acid for those of you who have indulged. In complete contrast to Carnevale of Venice, this parade is known for its extreme political and social commentary coupled with creativity completely unleashed.

Current topics in Italy reigned throughout the parade such as a unemployment, immigration, femmicide, mafia and many others. National and international political caricatures were regular features among other hot topics like the euro, EU and technology.

This was the most spectacularly absurd and the most sublimely bizarre parade I have ever seen. The scale of the floats was unexpected as well as their moving parts and it has shifted my perspective of what you can do with papier maché. A few of the floats were of the feel-good fantastical type like the John Lennon float and there was a float featuring Sigmund Freud called Hysteria.  The sea creatures for the Neptune float reminded me of the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island however, instead of lots of naked painted people running around as marine creatures, I have never seen so many people in animal onesies in my life (any furbees out there? 😉 If you are afraid of clowns, stay away. Creepy clowns were everywhere.

My favorite floats (these are not the correct names): the Clown Tank, Giant Spider, Technology on the Brain, Freddy Mercury

I will have several separate posts with more pics.

The official name of this float is “Un Carro armato…di allegria” (a tank of joy) by Massimo Breschi. A tank, as a tool of war is transformed into carnival wagon with smiles and colorful masks to take away the pain of humanity.


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