Mazatlan’s 2012 Carnival – The First Parade

February 20, 2012

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Panorama of the sunset during the parade.


Mazatlán’s first Carnaval parade was yesterday evening, and Paul and I were woefully unprepared.  We knew enough to skip the early part of the parade, which is all the commercial floats by Pacifico, the radio stations, etc. and all the big bus companies drive their big busses through with women throwing candy from the roof. That part leaves the Fisherman’s Monument heading North at about 4:30 pm.

But we didn’t think enough about how crowded it would be.  You really need to stake out a place several hours ahead of time and bring a chair with you.  We decided that we’d buy the little wooden chairs if we got tired but didn’t carry our own down with us.  Of course by the time we got there we felt lucky to get a tiny spot leaning against the railing and never did see the wooden chairs for sale!  I can’t even estimate the number of people watching the parade but it was jam packed the entire length of the malecón.

It was fun anyway, and even though our feet got tired it was worth it.  We’ll go back for the Tuesday parade to try to see some of the acts in between the floats but from our vantage point it was impossible this time.

Remember that the theme for Carnaval is “La Fiesta de Los Imperios” or The Celebration of The Empires. China, Russia, Rome, and France are represented.

2012 Carnaval Parade

Photos from the 2012 Mazatlan Carnival Parade



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I'm Nancy, a US expat living in Mazatlán, México.

9 Comments
    1. Where did all of the people come from? In six years I’ve never seen this many for the night parade. I couldn’t get within 30 feet of the parade route, and I walked quite a ways up and down just trying to find a better spot. I totally missed everything in between the floats because of all of the people. Good for Mazatlan, but not so good for pictures. Gonna have to hit the afternoon parade tomorrow to see what I missed.

      1. Larry, I know, it was insane! Every event this year has been a crush of people. I will have to go check the paper, see what it said about attendance… but how would you count?

    1. This is one thing I miss in Melaque. One of these years I will drive down to Manzanillo to see its parade. Until then, I will enjoy Mazatlan’s — on your blog.

    1. Someone said a million and a half but I don’t know how accurate their figures were. We paid to attend the buffet at the Hacienda, so were above the crowd, but it was still hard to see. I did get a pic of every float, good shot or not. I do know it was the most people I’ve ever seen in my life! And yes, I would do it again. Stan and his sis-not so much. My favorite part was getting to know the people around me.

    1. The paper this morning said 400,000 for the parade but that it was impossible to even think about estimating. I plan to go to today’s afternoon parade to catch what I missed, but have to wonder if I’ll have any more luck. In years past I used to walk from my house north up towards Las Gavias and the crowds would thin, but not this year.

    1. We much preferred the Olas Altas parade with so many places to comfortably watch, but the first year we were there, we didn’t know the ropes. We went to the Italian Coffee Company and staked out a table and chair at about noon…mind you…this was for the evening parade! We brought books and ordered numerous coffees but after a while they came to the table and wanted $200p for the table. We gave them an AAA road service card to hold until we returned the next day with the money. (we spent all ours on COFFEE!!) Great place to watch the parade as it is raised up from the street, but thereafter, it was Olas Altas for us. Hanging in our ‘hood with most of those we knew…perfect! (p.s. we never returned to pick up the card, thinking, by golly, we had spent enough on coffees while sitting there for 7 hours!)

      1. Steve, I’m sure Manzanillo has a great parade, you should do it.

        Marty, Larry says 400,000 and I would guess that is pretty close. The whole dang city had to be there!

        Contessa, I can’t wait to see your pics of the floats.

        Larry, I know, it was madness. There were even a couple of times we started feeling so claustrophobic it was awful. (but that was when we were trying to walk, passing thru these little narrow openings between people. Sheesh)

        Zoe, We always go to both parades, I love being over near Canucks de Leon as they can see the end is near and start partying as they go!

    1. I finally have the parade photos up! Next year we get our very own internet, grr!!

      Funny story Zoe.

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