Well, it's here, the event we've all been waiting for. Carnaval is a 6 day celebration, held every year just before Ash Wednesday. Mazatlan's Carnaval is the biggest in Mexico, and third in the Americas, after Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans and this year is being held February 11 - 16.
Carnaval is special this year,as Mexico is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Independence from Spain, or at least the start of the fight. This is also the 100th anniversary of the 1910 Revolution that lead to the downfall of the dictator, Porfirio Diaz.
The theme of Carnaval this year is "Con Fervor Patrio" (with Patriotic Passion).
And so ends the lesson. Apparently, it is now time to party. And to pull out the ear plugs!!!
The preparations have been going on for weeks, and we decided today to just go 'walkabout' to see how things were moving along.
There are signs and banners everywhere.
The drink of choice appears to be Pacifico. Actually, there is no choice; they have cornered the market.
The designated drivers can always enjoy a nice, cool, Coca Cola.
The marketing people at Tecate and Pepsi Cola must be pretty depressed right about now!
There appears to be no shortage of ice, so the beer, and Cokes, should all be well chilled.
Actually, no one really drives during Carnaval. The Malecon is blocked off for miles during the evenings and travel is strictly by foot. Many of us who live here have decided to just keep our cars parked for the duration. There's a lot of beer out there. It's just seems like a good idea.
Tickets are purchased at booths (20 pesos per person - less than $2.00) and then entry to the Malecon is through the gates.
There are gates to let us in, this one on Sixto Osuno just by the Library
and this one is on Angel Flores.
There are also barricades to keep people out. No one gets in without handing over their 20 pesos!
Passes are issued to people who live within the gated areas. As we are outside, we will have to pay our 20 pesos each and every time we enter, even if we are just passing through to the other side, as we will do the evening we go to the watch the fireworks with friends. Oh well, it's less than $2.00, and it goes to a good cause!
Of course, no celebration in Mexico is complete without music
and it couldn't possibly be Carnaval with the bling!
So, this is Carnaval, before.
Carnaval, during, will follow.