San Giovanni in Persiceto hosts one of the oldest and most famous Carnivals of the Bologna area, now at its 144th edition. During the historical Carnival of San Giovanni(Sunday, February 4th and 11th, 2018) the visitors can experience a unique show: the Spillo ("al spéll" in local dialect), also known as "Transformation". Secret ingenious mechanisms bring allegorical parade floats to life: their features and colours suddenly transform to reveal their hidden, satiric message. This is the magic of Carnival: unexpected surprises emerge from the floats like rabbits out of a magician's top hat, surrounded by music and bursts of coloured smoke.
The comical stock character of this Carnival is King Bertoldo, a rough, sharp-witted countryman who represents the vitality and distinctiveness of local folk. King Bertoldo was created by the Bologna writer Giulio Cesare Croce. Bertoldo and his retinue lead the parade floats along the route of one of the oldest Carnivals in Italy.
In the case of bad weather conditions the Carnival of Persiceto parades may be postponed.