We’re bracing ourselves for…Carnaval!

January 31, 2008

We’ve heard stories about what a big event Carnaval is ever since we first visited here. Some people choose to leave town for the week and others get into the spirit in a big way. This being our first year we have asked a lot of advice but in general are taking a relaxed perspective on the celebration. If we feel like it, we’ll do it – otherwise our fridge is full and we can crank up the tunes at home and enjoy ourselves just fine.

The strings of colored lights went up all over town before Christmas. When they didn’t get lit up for the holiday, it dawned on us that they were lights for Carnaval!

The elections of the various Carnaval royalty took about a month. Lots of campaigning, articles in the papers, voting, and parades culminated in the choice of Olga as the Carnaval Queen. There was a bit of crankiness here and there as people complained because she was from Cuba originally. Whatever.

Anyway, the last several weeks have seen a lot of projects around here. Potholes have been filled, the malecon has been cleaned and a lot of the seawall has been painted. The palms have had their dead fronds removed and all the parks have been groomed to within an inch of their lives.

Then came the construction. Centro is where it all happens, or most of it, anyway, and most of the action is at Olas Altas, the beach next to Centro. So it is closed to traffic every afternoon and stays closed until 5 am. Hopefully most people will avoid downtown for the duration but the street closure means we expect our street to turn into a crazy honking parking lot at times. Our car is parked and we won’t even try to drive until next Wednesday.

People are going to be charged to get into the main zone down at Olas Altas. So naturally there are barriers everywhere and ticket booths, too. Here is one, below:

There are going to be five bands going pretty much all night long. Banda, Banda, Banda! This music is distinct to Sinaloa and is really fun. People dance in the streets and of course party! Here’s one of the stages, but you’ll have to enlarge it to really see what’s what. On the left is a green wall built (I think) to indicate where the stairs are to the beach. Pacifico, our local beer is planning on dominating the beer stands I think.

There are gates all around Centro, too.

With all this beer, you know what else will be needed, right? Bathrooms! There are several big banks of bathrooms like the green ones in the background of the picture below:

Tonight we are going to the crowning of the King of Joy. Afterwards to the Plazuela Machado for a food fair. There are two huge fireworks displays, two parades, and the Burning of Bad Humor and the crowning of the Queen, Flower Queen, and Child Queen. I am probably getting these titles mixed up, but it should be non-stop Carnaval fun from here through next Tuesday.

A link to the Carnaval site can be found here.

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

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