Thousands of visitors and Carnival crews ignored the rain and enjoyed dancing and singing at the main parade on Sunday afternoon in the center of Patras, where the annual event has been held for the past 180 years.

The parade was opened by King Carnival, who traditionally represents the figure of a wealthy man, symbolizing capitalism and the country’s economic crisis. He is followed by the Carnival Queen with her entourage and the 29 colourful and imaginative floats named “Poseidon’s Chariot”, “Pirate Ship”, “Suddenly a Parrot” and “Musical Float”, which were built in the municipal carnival workshop.

As the number of participants has been steadily increasing in the past few years, the parade takes hours to conclude. This year it brought more than 30,000 people into the streets of the western port city. Celebrations in Patra start weeks in advance and include balls, parades, hidden treasure hunt and the children’s carnival. The tail of the parade includes the “chocolate war” floats, made up of various crews with costumes relating to the theme, who will be throwing chocolate to the people watching.

The parade will conclude at 21:00 at the docks of Aghios Nikolaos, where city mayor Kostas Peletidis will announce the end of the main event, amid a flurry of latin and disco music. It will be followed by the traditional burning of King Carnival and a fireworks display. Celebrations will continue with a concert by “Boney M” and Maizie Williams will sing for the last party of the Carnival season.

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