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AP PHOTOS: Haiti holds mid-year Carnival-like fest

Tuesday - 7/30/2013, 9:45pm  ET

A man dressed as Haitian national hero Jean-Jacques Dessalines performs while his troops stand behind him with a coffin that serves as a symbol of the country's problems, during the "Carnival of Flowers" celebrations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, July 29, 2013. Haiti kicked off its mid-year "Carnival of Flowers" Sunday in downtown Port-au-Prince, a three-day celebration President Michel Martelly has revived from the Duvalier era. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Tens of thousands of revelers turned the heart of Haiti's capital into a colorful party for the second "Carnival of Flowers" in Port-au-Prince.

Parade goers donned colorful costumes as they danced through the streets, while musicians played the Caribbean country's flowing rhythms.

The festival included 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 and lasted through the night despite rain. The final day was Tuesday.

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