The excitement for this 123rd year of Carnaval in Mazatlan is mounting – big time. As early as the fall of 2020, the government organized a city vote “should we hold Carnaval in 2021?” – there was an overwhelming majority of “no”, health must come first. Get ready, polish your tiaras, fluff up your boas, shake out your wigs, dust off your beads, buy a sexy new mask – because this port is so ready to party! And tourists can’t wait to join this annual six-day fiesta.
The mayor, Luis Guillermo “El Quimico” Benitez Torres along with the director of Cultura, José Angel Tostado, will announce the theme perhaps as early as October. It has not been confirmed, but most likely the entrance to the fiesta on Olas Altas is free – as well as distributing many free tickets to the three “big” events in the stadium. [45,000 were distributed in 2020. The pandemic hit Mazatlan in March 2020; Carnaval was completed by February 25, 2020]. 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.
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; four candidates for “child queen”, reina infantil and four for king, rey de la alegria.
For six nights, 6 p.m. until around 2 p.m. the All Access Street party takes place – from Centro’s Zaragoza to the Freeman Hotel/Best Western [Paseo Claussen and Olas Altas] it’s one long stream of people; the beer is flowing, the grills are smokin’ hot, and massive stages for bands are dotted on this fiesta route. Entrance gates are on Zaragoza, Angel Flores, and Sixto Osuna with his and her gates – they open at around 5 p.m. Often the line-ups are long due to security checks so be prepared to wait. Travel light – no purse, no wallet, carry only the bare minimum ID and a few pesos for drinks and food.
Stay on this page for confirmation of ticket sales [where and when], music headliners and all the free entertainment. The calendar below is guideline only – and prices are for your budget purposes only.
Thursday February 24: Opening Night to the All Access Street Party: The city will announce a headliner act, free, at Angel Flores [Shrimp Bucket] stage.
Friday February 25: Coronation pageant for Queen of the flowergames/Coronación Reina de los Juegos Florales. Estadio Teodoro Mariscal/ Baseball Stadium 8:30 p.m. Headliner tbc. Prices are by zone: $900 to $2,100 – rest of the stadium [approx.10,000 seats] will be free with a ticket – to be confirmed.
Saturday February 26:Coronation pageant for the Queen of Carnaval/Coronación de la Reina del Carnaval. Estadio Teodoro Mariscal/ Baseball Stadium, 6:00 p.m. Headliner to be confirmed. Prices are are according to the zone, $900 – $2,1000 – rest of the stadium[approx. 10,000 seats] will be free with ticket – to be confirmed.
Saturday February 26:Burning of the Bad Humour/Quema del mal humor; In 2020 organizers had chosen the Coronavirus – who knows for 2022! The smallish parade begins at 8:30 p.m. on Zaragoza and Aquiles Serdan and ends with “the burning” in front of the deer monument [on Olas Altas at the Shrimp Bucket] 9:30 p.m. free.
Saturday February 26: Combate Naval/ Naval battlefought on the water (and the shore) with fireworks that will be launched again on Olas Altas at around 11 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 27: First Carnaval Parade/Primer Desfile de Carnaval, starts around 5:00 p.m. and again may begin at the Parque Ciudades Hermanas [Zaragoza and the Malecon] then along to Fisherman’s Monument/Monumento al Pescador and goes north to Valentino’s on Rafael Buelna. Themed floats and loads of live music. It could be like 2020, an 8k parade. 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 Beltrán; 7:30 Hotel de Sol; 7:45 Tourism; 8, El Toro Bravo; 8:30 Valentino’s.
Monday February 28: 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 28: Coronation of the Child Queen of Carnaval/Coronación de laReinaInfantil: Baseball Stadium, Estadio Teodoro Mariscal. 6 p.m. Headliner to be confirmed. Prices are by zone – $900 – $2,600 – rest of the stadium [ approx.10,000 seats] will be free with ticket – all to be confirmed.
Tuesday March 1:Second Carnaval Parade/Segundo Desfile de Carnaval, 4:00 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.