Carnaval 2023 – Thursday Feb. 16 – Tuesday Feb. 21.

Mazatlan is a party on the Pacific and nothing says “let’s party “like the 125th Carnaval celebration. Get ready – polish your tiaras, fluff up your boas, shake out your wigs, dust off your beads, buy a sexy new mask – because everyone wants to join this annual six-day festival.

This year’s theme is/Déja vu Sueños de un Carnaval/ Déja vu dreams of Carnaval. It’s a French word that means – the feeling that you have already experienced something that is actually happening for the first time. Raúl Rico González returns to the position he has held before, as director of Cultura and there’s no doubt that he and his dedicated team will put their creative spin on this “Déja vu feeling”.

There will be several entrances to the fiesta from Olas Altas – free or a small fee to be confirmed -but count on long line-ups with his and her security gates. 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. Travel light – no purse, no wallet, carry only the bare minimum ID and a few pesos for drinks and food

In November, 11 young women are wanting to be the queen of Carnaval for 2023. For 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

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.

The calendar below is a guideline only and is subject to change.

Thursday February 16:  Rey del Carnaval, Estadio Teodoro Mariscal/Baseball Stadium. Headliner to be confirmed.

Friday February 17  Coronation pageant for Queen of the flowergames/Coronación Reina de los Juegos Florales.Estadio Teodoro Mariscal/ Baseball Stadium. Headliners – to be confirmed.

Saturday February 18; Coronation pageant for the Queen of Carnaval/Coronación de la Reina del Carnaval.  Estadio Teodoro Mariscal/ Baseball Stadium, Headliner to be confirmed.

Saturday February 18 :Burning of the Bad Humour/Quema del mal humor; In  past years it has been Donald Trump and the Coronavirus – so who knows for 2023? The smallish parade begins at 8:30 p.m. on Zaragoza and Aquiles Serdan [tbc]and ends with “the burning” on Avenida del Mar, 9:30 p.m. Free.

Saturday February 18: Combate NavalNaval battle fought on the water (and the shore) with fireworks that will be launched on Avenida de la Mar [Playa Norte] at around 11 p.m. It’s never too early to start thinking about reserving your viewing spot with friends, hotels, etc. These choreographed fireworks to music are not to be missed. Free.

Sunday February 19 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. 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 20: 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 20: Coronation of the Child Queen of Carnaval/Coronación de laReinaInfantil: Baseball Stadium, Estadio Teodoro Mariscal. Headliner, to be confirmed.

Tuesday February 21: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.