- Title: PORTUGAL: Thousands attend Portugal's annual Torres Vedras street carnival
- Date: 23rd February 2009
- Summary: ONE DOLLAR BILL WITH GEORGE WASHINGTON WITH HANDS ON HEAD CARNIVAL PARADE
- Embargoed: 10th March 2009 12:00
- Location: Portugal
- Country: Portugal
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAD0635NO4LY4RTS7ZG09EB5DUV
- Story Text: Thousands attend Portugal's annual street carnival with the global economic downturn at its focus.
The highly popular and centuries-old Portuguese street carnival, 'Carnival of Torres' got underway on Sunday (February 22) attracting thousands to the streets of the city.
One of the most notable floats at this year's parade played on the theme of the global economic crisis, with President Barack Obama on top of a sinking boat of money with former U.S. President Bush sinking right behind him.
"This car represents the fall of the North American empire. We have Barack Obama leading the United States trying to save the American ship which is virtually the Titanic sinking, where George Bush is also trying to swim to save himself. and also Washington (Obama) with U.S. dollars notes in his hands asking what are they doing this country," said carnival organiser Sergio Lopes.
The United States presidents where not the only ones to receive the Torres Vedras festival's irreverent treatment.
Large figurines of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Manchester United's footballer Cristiano Ronaldo were also present in the parade.
The parade, which started in the 1920s, is an annual event that presents international and domestic events in a satirical manner. The first reference to the festival dates back to 1574, but it was when the country finally gained its independence that the festival's appeal took hold.
Since the 1980's the 'Carnival of Torres' has grown annually, now attracting professional costume and model-makers who exhibit their works at this event.
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