Countdown to Carnaval!

February 11, 2009


This is our second Carnaval here in Mazatlán, and already it feels different than last year.  Last year’s celebration was the first for the new city administration, and the previous administration had left no money in the coffers to roll over for Carnaval.  So if you were here last year things felt a little thrown-together, because they were.

I’ll have a full series of photos of the changes here in Mazatlán in a couple of days, but I thought I’d let you know that we now have our Carnaval Queen.  The votes were counted last night in a ceremony in the Angela Peralta Theater, and Wendy Ponce was named Queen.  Her picture is at the top of the post.  Of course after the ceremony,  there were fireworks from the Plazuela Machado!

The new Queen of the Flower Games is Corina Beltrán.  The Child Queens were elected last week – two girls are sharing the position this year.  Last year’s Queen was Olga, below.




One different thing this year is that instead of one person being elected the King of Joy, the entire Banda group El Recodo is the King of Joy.  If you don’t know much about Banda, it is a Sinaloan style of music that combines Mexican music (rancheras, corridos, cumbias, baladas and cumbias) with German polka music.  Yes, that means tubas!  If you haven’t heard the music, check out El Recodo’s website and turn your speakers up!




The Coronation of the King of Joy will be on the Feb 19th at 8 pm in front of the Aquarium or at Olas Altas.  (Keep your eye out, I’ve read both locations in published Carnaval listings.)  Of course El Recodo will perform!  I imagine it will be too packed to dance, but we’ll be there, along with many thousands of other people. Above is a picture of El Recodo performing in 2008 in Xochimilco.  (Photo above from the El Recodo website gallery)




There are always big names at the coronations that take place at the baseball stadium.  This year Tania Libertad performs at the Coronation of the Queen of the Flower Games (8:30 pm Feb 20.)  The Coronation of the Queen of Carnaval will include a concert by Daniela Romo (6:30 pm Feb 21.)  The Coronation of the Child Queens includes a performance by Gloria Trevi (6:30 pm Feb 23.)

There is also the annual Carnaval event of the Burning of Bad Humor.  Last year the bad vibes that were burned were related to the inebriated men who lassoed the Mazatlán deer monument, damaging it.  I haven’t heard what this years’ effigy is going to be.  Free.  Olas Altas (9 pm Feb 21.)

This year there are going to be two fireworks battles.  The first Naval Battle is after the Burning of Bad Humor at Olas Altas.  (9 pm Feb 21.) This commemorates the Battle of Mazatlán in 1864, where Mazatlan was able to repel French invaders.  We saw this last year from the perfect viewing point, and it was an incredible sight to see.  I wrote a little about it, here.

The second Naval Battle takes place on Avenida del Mar.  I’m not sure exactly where the battle will take place but somewhere between the Fisherman’s Monument and Valentino’s.  I would think it would be possible to sit in a palapa restaurant or on the beach and watch these.  (9pm Feb 23)


I haven’t even mentioned the two parades. (The photo above is from last year’s second parade.)  The first Carnaval parade takes place on Avenida del Mar (Feb 22) I think from Valentino’s down to the Fisherman’s Monument.  (We didn’t go last year)  The second Carnaval parade runs (Feb 24)  from Avenida del Mar to Olas Altas.  We went to this one last year,  everyone is on their last wind after partying non stop for some time so once the parade ends at Olas Altas, the party really hits a crescendo before Carnaval ends the following day.

Last year there were something like 10 stages set up at Olas Altas.  It was a non-stop dance party every night.  I’ll try to do a little better this year with pictures and video…but it really is an experience you couldn’t forget if you tried!

There is a lot more to report on, too.  Various wonderful performances, art exhibits, re-enactment of Angela Peratla’s arrival in town, and a controversy about the winner of the literature prize.  So stay tuned!

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


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