Monday, August 10, 2020

Santa Cruz Carnival 2021 will be outside, in the surroundings of the Plaza de España

Santa Cruz Carnival Stage in the Plaza de España for Carnival 1995. This was the last time the galas took place in the open air, before they were transferred to the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife (The Tenerife International Centre for Trade Fairs and Congresses), which opened the following year.

Councillor for fiestas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Alfonso Cabello, faces, perhaps, the most critical stage for a celebration of the dimensions of Santa Cruz carnival, where everything is excess, and in times of pandemic, precisely that, excesses, are the only thing to avoid.

It is being made very clear, however, that the city is determined that there will be some sort of carnival in 2021. Cabello says, "I think it is important not only for the fun part, but also for the pride and mood of the city. Nothing has been able to stop the carnival before, not even Franco and I would not like that COVID could." Whilst it's easy to see his point, not everyone agrees and there are many commenters online who think it's sheer madness to hold any sort of carnival at all. My feeling is that a gap of one year would not kill the momentum nor harm carnival, but that a half-hearted carnival could damage its image irrevocably.

Although most of the details are still to be decided, carnival definitely won't be happening in it's usual pre-lenten slot and has been postponed until the second quarter of the year.

A time window of April, May and July has been discussed. June has been ruled out as it would coincide with the exam period. Cabello is in favour of the 2021 carnival taking place in July (which would be into the third quarter, but let's not be pedantic!). July would allow more time to prepare and we might have a better handle on COVID-19 by then.

One decision that has been taken is that the carnival stage is going outside in the area of the Plaza de España - which is what used to happen up to 1995. This would be safer and would allow for a larger capacity than indoors and would also be the best option in the event that there is no carnival in the street, which currently is looking very unlikely.

The idea they are working on is a television format with scenery that will serve for a variety of uses and with a capacity of around 1,200 people (quite a change from the 400,000 that have been known to attend outside carnival events in the city).

Carnival 2021 is more likey to be an exibition. Normally, the Carnival Queen Gala is the last of the contests before carnival goes out onto the streets, but the idea at the moment is for the Carnival Queen event to provide the starting point, with exhibitions to follow.

“What I want to make clear is that there will be Carnival in 2021, there will be a poster, a queen and participation of the groups. We still need to see how and when,” says Cabello.

They hope to start making decisions in September.

Alfonso Cabello (CC): “El Carnaval de 2021 será en el exterior, en el entorno de la Plaza de España”

UPDATEThere will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated