Feb. 18 - The first full day of Venice Carnival floats off with a colorful and lively water parade along the city's famous waterways. Tara Cleary reports.
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Scores of boats crowd Venice's waterways to mark the start of the city's carnival.
A pre-Lent festival, carnival means "farewell to meat" and so revelers are treated to free food at the end of the boat parade, according to local resident, Francesco.
SOUNDBITE: Francesco, Venetian resident, saying (Italian):
"The first parade at the start of the Venice Carnival is the parade of the Sestiere di Cannaregio where all the oars people from the district stage a race as their contribution to the carnival, and they are accompanied by all the local boats."
Carnival was first held in Venice in the 11th century and visitors traditionally don cloaks and masks.
This year's celebration continues through March 4th.
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