One of my favorite Carnevale events in Venice is the kick-off events held in Cannaregio Canal on the first weekend of the Carnevale celebration. It's focused on the residents, instead of the tourists. It's a party in the street, but on the canal instead. I love the local feel of it with all the simple homemade costumes and the huge boat parade down the canal.
Tomorrow evening is a performance on the water. Last year this was a new event, put on by a French group of artists that was truly spectacular. We'll have to wait to see how this compares to last year.
Sunday afternoon is the main attraction - the Festa Veneziana. It's a fantastic parade of boats up the canal with all the rowers in costume. The culmination is the raising of the pategana, a large rat, up out of the water. For a look at last year's event, check out my blog post: http://theveniceexperience.blogspot.it/2013/01/festa-veneziana-carnevale-kick-off-2013.html#sthash.QtC1gTQ7.dpbs
After the parade, there are food and drink booths lining both sides of the canal. This is where it becomes a big street party! Lots of fun, lots of cameraderie, lots of fritelle and lots of confetti!
FYI- if you are trying to reach Murano or Burano islands either late tomorrow or Sunday, check on the vaporetto schedules as most of the Cannaregio canal will be closed during certain times for the celebration.
Buona Festa, tutti!