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Even with the start of the 'new normality' on 21 June 2020, popular fiestas and most large gatherings and events are still prohibited and social distancing guidelines still in force. Dates listed on this site, therefore, are still subject to cancellation or change and we will update, where we can, when any new information is made available.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Carnaval Tuesday Main Parade



The program for Tenerife Carnaval, says the parade kicks off from around 4 p.m. this afternoon in the Avenidas de Anaga y Marítima (map) along the sea front in Santa Cruz, culminating in a huge fireworks display (around 9 - 9.30 p.m.) This video shows a montage of photos from the main Coso or carnaval parade in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2007, which last year drew a crowd of 110,000. Today is a holiday in the city of Santa Cruz, but as people come from all around the island (and world), numbers in the evening will swell.

So while Pancake Day may be at risk of dying out in the UK, I don't see evidence of carnival losing its popularity, especially attendance at the main parade on Shrove Tuesday

As is traditional, the parade will be headed by the Afilarmónica Ni Fú-Ni Fá, followed by 26 floats - which will include all 17 of the candidates for carnival queen, not just the queen and her attendants - plus all the various dancing and singing troupes; comparsas, murgas, rondallas, etc.

There are also the familiar characters at carnaval such as; Charlie Chaplin, Fidel Castro, Kermit and Miss Piggy and even a touch of Elton John and Queen Marie-Antoinette - not to mention the hundreds that defy identification! These figures have become such local "institutions" (Santiago Díaz has been Harpo Marx since 1969, Francisco Arvelo became Michael Jackson in 1992), that there was an outpouring of public concern when Tenerife's Fidel Castro (real name, Antonio Meseguer) was stabbed during the 2006 Carnival. Fortunately, he recovered from his injuries. The perp, however, Juan Francisco P.S. was condemned to 14 years in prison for attempted murder.

Later on the 150 kilos or so of explosives, around 500 fireworks, will be provided by Los Realejos firm, Hermanos Toste and, of course, there's the funfair, the various bands for dancing in the streets until the next morning ...

For those not familiar with the whole carnival culture, although this parade is the carnival's finale (because today is Shrove Tuesday and therefore carnival "ends", because tomorrow is lent), there is the "funeral" (The Burial of the Sardine) tomorrow, Ash Wednesday and, even then the party continues in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz through to the weekend, later moving on to other towns on the island.

It's a chilly 54 °F / 12 °C in the north of Tenerife this morning, with some ominous scattered clouds. There nearly always are for carnival, but it'll warm up and there are no serious weather systems about, as far as I know.

Getting there and back: the bus company, TITSA, have, as always, put on extra buses. For visitors coming from the south of the island, the bus number 111 from Las Americas to Santa Cruz is the most useful as the extra ones will run through the night and become virtually carnival coaches and an extension of the party.

The Coso Apoteosis del Carnaval parade is being televised live by TVCanaria from 4 .p.m. this afternoon. It can also be seen on the Spanish mainland (from 5 p.m. there).

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