Irmingard Anna Kotelev © - Carnival of Venice 2003
"Beloved travelers,

hear my words, for they ring of truth!

Allow me to announce that Carnival 2003, here in Venice, has indeed begun!

Please hold your applause.

Welcome, all fools and revelers. Welcome all rich, all poor, all of you fetching, perfumed, powdered beauties, and handsome, dapper devils.

Welcome, all important and non-important, all drunkards and seducers.

Now is the time to celebrate this great feast of color, scent, food and drink!

Welcome all vendors, scalawags, sneak-thieves and beggars. Welcome all dreamers, romantics, secretly meeting lovers and hiding husbands and wives!

May the blinding splendor of carnival open your hearts, and the glamour, your deepest desires.

May your stay be unforgettable. May you happily drown in the fantasies.

May the illusions, the dreams and the now-exposed intentions of the artisans and musicians jazz up your lives!

Carnival, 2003 is now awake. Join in, grab the nearest gloved hand and dance until you drop!"

Thank you, you may now applaud.

Brett M. Stark