This is the 122nd year for Carnaval in Mazatlan. The mayor,Luis Guillermo “El Quimico” Benitez Torres, is working in concert with the new director of Cultura, Marsol Quiñónez Castro, to develop a theme and book headliners that will appeal to all the Mazatlecos and their families. Given the history of El Quimico and his MORENA political party, chances are good that entrance to the fiesta on Olas Altas will be free – as well as distributing many free tickets to the “big” events in the stadium. [last year 10,000 – 12,000 tickets were given out, could be the same for 2020, could be less.] If you are not fond of crowds and have an aversion to being swept along by high spirited party-goers then Olas Altas is not for you. It’s all well-meaning but people do push you along and for some that’s not a welcome feeling. Regardless, travel light, no purse, no wallet, bare minimum when you venture out.
For young women entering the contest who wish to be queen, the rules are: born in Mazatlan or lived in Mazatlan for three years, can’t be a mother, nor pregnant, nor married and you must be between the ages of 17 – 25 on the day of the election. Usually there are 12 candidates vying for the crown; three candidates for “child queen”, reina infantil and three for king, rey de la alegria.
The following dates and prices are a guideline only – every year the pattern is almost the same – closer to Carnaval, Cultura will confirm it all. This is solely for your budgeting and planning purposes. Count on some changes!
Thursday January 30: Manifestación/ Candidate’s Mini-Parade Fiesta! The organizers of Carnaval always enjoy drumming up excitement for the candidates who work so hard to become king or queen. This parade is small [but large in emotion!] and starts at 4 p.m. at Av. Leonismo Internacional, Av. de Los Deportes, on Av. Ejército Mexicano then to Juan Carrasco, Aquiles Serdán, onto the 21 de Marzo and concluding in the Plazuela República with more celebrations and a fiesta around 6 p.m. As always, except road detours and delays during this time.
Thursday January 30:Cómputo final, the final computer tally for queens.Music and celebration in the Plazuela República (Town Hall Square) around 6 p.m. Tonight all the candidates, via for votes, are narrowed down to a precious few. All free, with tons of music and guest singers.
Friday February 7:Elección de reinas, the election of the queens.Always an exciting evening at the ? It has great musical numbers and the candidates have many costume changes (in sky-high heels) as well as answering important questions from the judges. It’s a serious process and like all beauty pageants, tension and excitement is in the air. [Venue tbd -last year it was in Centro Usos Multiples 7 p.m. [that’s the sports and rec. centre located on Av. Oscar Pérez Escobosa.]
Monday February 17:Presentation Premio Mazatlan de Literature,presentation of the literature prize winner for 2018,Casa Haas, 7 p.m. All in Spanish.
Saturday February 15: Velada de las Artes– this “evening of the arts” usually offers internationally famous performers. Budget about $600, $550, $450, $350, Angela Peralta Theatre, 8 p.m. [there will be speeches before the performance for the literature prize. Be patient!]
Thursday February 20: Inauguración de la muestra gastronónmica/food fair exhibition Plazuela Machado. Mingle with kings and queens and sample special foods prepared by restaurants surrounding the square. There will be regional dishes and delicious desserts served every day during Carnaval starting at 2 p.m. Lots of activities will also take place in the bandstand for children. Free on the inauguration only – but restaurants do offer regional dishes at a small cost during Carnaval.
Thursday February 20:Coronation of the King of Happiness/ Coronación del Rey de Carnaval Venue tbd as well as headliner. Also: Masquerade Ball,:Costume contest, fantastic prizes! Ticket’s available [in January] at Labeth’s Bazaar Constitución and Benito Juarez, Wednesday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.or call 669 117 5768. Your ticket of $750 [needs to be confirmed] includes delicious finger food and two drinks. 7 p.m. at Terraza Los Pargos, Chametla #230, Playa Sur.
Friday February 21:Coronation pageant for Queen of the flowergames/Coronación Reina de los Juegos Florales. Estadio Teodoro Mariscal/ Baseball Stadium[now sometimes referred to as Casa de los Venados] 8:00 p.m. Headliner and acts tbd. For budget purposes – VIP price zone, $2,200, $1,800, $1,300 and $800, rest of the stadium [10,000 seats] could be free.
Saturday February 22:Coronation pageant for the Queen of Carnaval/Coronación de la Reina del Carnaval. Estadio Teodoro Mariscal/ Baseball Stadium, 6:00 p.m. Headliner and acts, tbd, for budget purposes -VIP zone: $2,800, $2,200, $1,500, $800, rest of the stadium[10,000 seats] could be free.
Saturday February 22:Burning of the Bad Humour/Quema del mal humor; each year political or “outspoken” people are in the running, and the Mexicans always wonder who will be chosen to burn in effigy. People will propose candidates online, and vote. 8 p.m. free, at the deer monument, Olas Altas.
Saturday February 22:Combate Naval/ Naval battlefought on the water(and the shore) with fireworks that will be launched again on Olas Altas at around 10:30 p.m. It’s never too early to start thinking about reserving your viewing spot with friends in high places [mostly condos and houses in this area]. These choreographed fireworks to music are not to be missed. Free.
Sunday February 23:First Carnaval Parade/Primer Desfile de Carnaval, starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Fisherman’s Monument/Monumento al Pescador and goes north to Valentino’s on Rafael Buelna. Themed floats and loads of live music. Unlike any other parade you have ever seen – party like a Mazatleco! Free. The route with approximate times: 5:30, Av. Rotarismo; 6, Hotel de Cima; 7, Lola Betrán; 7:30 Hotel de Sol; 7:45 Tourism; 8, El Toro Bravo; 8:30 Valentino’s.
Monday February 24:Children’s Costume Ball/Baile Infantil, Salón Spectaculare, 10:00 a.m., on Av. Camaron Sabalo in front of the Hotel Quijote Inn.
Monday February 24:Coronation of the Child Queen of Carnaval/Coronación de laReinaInfantil: Baseball Stadium, Estadio Teodoro Mariscal. 6:30 p.m.Headliner and other performers tbd. For budget purposes –VIP zone prices: $3,500, $3,000, $2,500, $1,800 rest of the stadium [10,000 seats] could be free.
Tuesday February 25:Second Carnaval Parade/Segundo Desfile de Carnaval, 4:30 p.m. from the Aquarium south along the Malecon to Miguel Aleman. It’s a mini version of the Sunday parade, but still has many of the fabulous floats. The route and the approximate times: 4:30, Av. de los Deportes; 5, Lola Beltrán; 5:45, Hotel de Cima; 6, Hotel Plaza Marina; 7:15, Av. Zaragoza; and then along around 7:35 Olas Altas. The parade is followed with lots of live music that usually starts at 10 p.m. on Paseo Claussen.