21st Century Mazatlan Carnival: Festivities and Traditions
Place: Olas altas
On Saturday evening the harbor skies will glow with stunning fireworks displays, the air filled with the sights and sounds of the laser show, Naval Combat, a re-creation of the harbor’s successful defense against French invasion by Mexican forces. The pyrotechnic bangs and shots simulate cannonades exchanged over sea and land during the battle between the Mazatlecos and the French man-of-war, “Le Cordeliere”.
Place: "Del Mar" Avenue
The most highly-anticipated event of the Carnival of Mazatlan is the carriage float (or “allegorical” carriages) parade, which takes place on Sunday. The waterfront is transformed into a sea of thousands, Mazatleco families and visitors gathering to enjoy the parade of fantasies conceived by carriage float creator Rigoberto Lewis.
Place: "Del Mar" Avenue
The second celebration takes place the following Tuesday, when Mazatlecans bid farewell to the procession as the carriages travel the waterfront line southwards. In this second parade, the Royal Court, Joy characters, thematic groups and other participants join together in a multi-colored swath through the Carnival zone along the Paseo de Olas Altas.
Both events are free.
Crowning of the King of Joy
In its early origins the Carnival included the election of the Ugly King, the male protagonist of the Carnival festivities. Since 1965, the title of Sovereign was changed to King of Joy, reaffirming the positive spirit underlying Carnival.
Crowning of the Queen of Floral Games
Each year, the creative intelligence of poets receive due homage during the Floral Games of the Carnival, in a multiple consecration event. A Poet Laureate crowns the Queen, who in turn delivers the Natural Flower and Poetry prizes. The Clemencia Isaura Poetry Award has since 1937 also occupied a prominent place in the Carnival agenda. The judges of the Poets Laureate are Carlos McGregor Giacinti, Rosario Uriarte, Herminio Martínez, Abigael Bohórquez, Juan José Arreola, Pita Amor, Franco Hernández, José Esquinca y Miriam Moscona, among many others.
Crowning of the Queen of Carnival
Perhaps the most anxiously-awaited event of the city-harbor is the competition for the most beautiful among a stunningly beautiful class of competitors. The winner becomes the icon of the Carnival after a stringent competition in which grace, appearance, intelligence and beauty are a must in winning this coveted distinction.
Crowning of the Child Queen
The Crowning of the Child Queen takes place on Monday. Its origins are traced to 1921, the ritual since then repeated annually. The crowning of the Child Queen of the Carnival and the Child Queen of Poetry are augmented by the performances of nationally-known popular singers.
Pacific International Beauty Queen
The participation of the Queens from Central and South America and the United States adds an international flavor to the Carnival festivities. The visiting beauties participate in the spectacular Carnival parades, and also compete for the title of Pacific International Queen.
Children’s Grand Ball
The Children’s Grand Ball provides the children of the city-harbor a festive space especially designed for them. Escorted by their parents, the children engage in a test of their imaginative skills in the Funny Costume Contest, donning costumes of their own design in a high-spirited pageant of joyful competition.
Bad Mood Burning
A symbolic ritual accomplished by the incineration of a marionette, the Bad Mood Burning (or “Quema de Mal Humor”) vanquishes all ill feelings from the Mazatlan shores.