Friday, February 12, 2010
Preparing for Carnaval
Mazatlan is poised and ready. It's been gearing up for weeks for the annual Carnaval Mardi Gras festival--the third biggest after Rio and New Orleans. People from all over Mexico come here for the six day celebration that includes street parties, fireworks, and parades. It officially started last night but the real action takes place from Saturday night through until Tuesday afternoon. Here are some of the preparations we've seen take place:
Every little store and restaurant is decorated with masks and colourful lighted mask designs line the streets downtown.
Hotels along the malecon where the parade goes have doubled their rates. The candidates for carnaval queen, king, and princess have been seen around town in their finery for a few weeks now. The crowing takes place on Saturday (at the baseball stadium), followed by fireworks along the malecon, recreating an historic naval battle where Mazatlan defeated the French army.
The Olas Altas area is being prepared for a huge ongoing street dance and party. Gates have been erected and hoardings (decorated by locals in true Mazatlan street art fashion). Stages are being set up for the music and there are many beer tents as well as several temporary bathrooms in key locations. We've been given conflicting information about this party. Some say: go early, don't miss it. Others say: avoid it unless you want to feel like a sardine. Others say it's dangerous to go down there after dark because of the drinking and the crowds.