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Drag Queens and Masked Dogs

Venice Carnival

— January 27, 2008 — World
Italy draws in tourists from around the world for a variety of reasons. If you're not drawn to the historical architecture, fashion, or enticed by the thought of authentic vongole, you may be intrigued by more vibrant cultural venues like the annual Carnival of Venice.

This year's event takes place on the sinking city on January 25 and will include parades of drag queens and costumed dogs who compete to win best outfit. Over a million visitors are expended to attend the 12 day event. That's incredible, especially since there are only about 62,000 residents in the city.

One YouTube channel described it as, "Carnival in Venice is the science fiction version of Carnival in New Orleans."

Other events during carnival include balls, concerts and extravagant parties.

"In an effort to update the centuries-old celebration, this year the city has expanded the scope of attractions to include 30 drag queens performing to 1980s music, a parade of masked dogs, exhibitions of hunting with falcons and live outdoor theatre," Reuters wrote.

"In the evenings the squares will resonate with the sounds of tango, operas, a samba marching band, Brazilian carnival dancers and concerts of all sorts of music, from Venetian ska to disco, from alternative rock to Mozart."

The photos shown are from last year's carnival on February 14 as well as this year's.