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After 2 years of COVID, Peru's clowns return

After being suspended for two years due to COVID-19 hundreds of clowns dressed in colorful costumes, wigs and face paint marched through the streets of central Lima on Wednesday to celebrate Peruvian Clown Day. One band of merry-makers carried the ashes of one of their fellow clown, Jorge Contreras - known as "Copetin" - who died of pancreatic cancer during the pandemic. "Today we break our mourning and let him to rest in peace while we return to our colorful suits," said Lerner Diaz, dressed as the clown known as "Little Shadow." "It was very hard, really, with what happened due to COVID, and we lost many of our friends," said Renato Pichihua who, like most other clowns had been forced to make a living doing other things. The Cultural Association of Clowns and Circus Performers of Peru marches on 25 May every year in honor of Jose Alvarez Velez, better known as "Tony Perejil," a popular Peruvian clown who died in 1987. Peruvian clowns started celebrating Peruvian Clown Day in 2006.