For the Grape Festival, two people from Borgomanero dress up as the two town masks: Sciòra Togna and Carulèna (Mrs Togna and Caroline).
At the beginning of the celebrations, the mayor hands them the keys to the town, that they keep until the end of the festival.
These two iconic figures represent our town as traditional masks.
They are due to the imagination of Gianni Colombo and they have always been played by men, but for one year, when ‘Sciòra Togna’ was played by a lady, Mrs Tersilla Zambrini.
But who are these characters? The ‘Sciòra Togna’ is a prosperous, elegant, middle-class matron, while the ‘Carulèna’ is her faithful servant: a chatty, petite peasant girl.
The first masks, in 1936, were played by Carlo Cattaneo (the Sciòra Togna), and Battista Piemontesi (the Carulèna). They had been the performers of the musical comedy ‘Burbané cal visiga’ that was written in the dialect of Borgomanero by Mr Colombo and performed in 1926.
In the following years, other people from Borgomanero took turns in playing these roles, animating the ‘Festival’ and becoming the ‘master of the village’ for the duration of the event, with the keys to the town handed over by the mayor.