Venice Street Carnival brings masked mystery to the Vilar |

Venice Street Carnival brings masked mystery to the Vilar

Daily Staff Report
Special to the Daily In the spirit of an ancient tradition held in Venice, Italy, the Vilar Center Junior Guild presents a Carnival di Venezia Saturday in Beaver Creek.

BEAVER CREEK – A little taste of Venice is coming to the Vail Valley. On Saturdayevening, the Vilar Center Junior Guild will present Carnival di Venezia at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek.

The events will feature the sights and sounds of one of the most unique carnivals in the world. In a tradition that dates back to the 14th century, the streets are filled with people dressed in cloaks and elaborate masks, allegorical characters, street artists and entertainers.In earlier centuries, the Venetian Carnival was a magical time for the population. Traditionally celebrated from Dec. 26t through Ash Tuesday, the citizens enjoyed taking part in the illusion of Carnival and all of the revelry. Masks, which were used in Venice as early as the 13th century, and cloaks provided a certain level of anonymity. They were especially popular with gamblers, who would use them to hide indiscreet looks, or to hide from their creditors. The masks and cloaks also helped to break down social divisions during this time of excess. Even the palace gates would be thrown open for parties, musical events and shows. In the spirit of this carousing and anonymity, a typical greeting would have been “Good Morning, Mrs. Mask.”

To embody a traditional costumed look, guests should plan to attend with a black cloak, a three-cornered hat and a white mask that completely covers the face. Some other historical ways of dressing up include: a fisherman with a fishing rod, a doctor, a lawyer with papers, a demon, a peasant girl or an astrologer. A more modern twist on costuming would entail an ornately-decorated, hand-held mask, similar to the sort donned at many American Mardi Gras events. Masks will be available for purchase at the door.The Vilar Center Venetian Carnival will also be an art auction. Selected artists, using many different forms of media, will present their artwork, so that revelers can browse and purchase items. Artists will be donating their profits to the Vilar Center Junior Guild. Several area restaurants have donated food for this event, and there will be wine and other beverages served. Entertainment by talented street performers and artists will be abundant.

All proceeds from this event will benefit the Vilar Center Junior Guild. Formed last year by Britten Roetzel, this group consists of local women who volunteer their time and hearts to promote the arts. Their goal is to spread awareness and enthusiasm about the arts and local theater throughout the community. For more information on joining the Junior Guild or the Carnival di Venezia, contact Julia Foster at 949-1999.Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism