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Haiti holds mid-year ‘Carnival of Flowers’ festival

 

Haiti has kicked off its mid-year Carnival party in the heart of the country’s capital.

Tens of thousands of revelers have poured into downtown Port-au-Prince for the Caribbean nation’s second “Carnival of Flowers.” Parade goers donned colorful costumes as they danced through the streets, while musicians played the country’s flowing rhythms.

The festival also includes street theater such as one piece involving a man dressed as Haitian national hero Jean-Jacques Dessalines laid out in his coffin.

The celebration is not without criticism. A few hundred protesters marched in Port-au-Prince last week, saying the $2.2 million budgeted for the festival would have been better spent elsewhere.

Officials counter that the event is employing more than 1,500 people as makeup artists, dancers and caterers.

President Michel Martelly revived the “Carnival of Flowers” tradition last year.

The party began Sunday afternoon, continued through the night despite rain, and ran through Tuesday.

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