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Sunday, February 06, 2022

Santa Cruz plan to celebrate Carnival in the street with Canarian orchestras as focus

Orchestra at carnival in the Plaza de la Candelaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

When asked what Santa Cruz is going to do with its Carnival in the street if the pandemic allows it, the answer is "whatever they allow us", responds Councillor for Fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, who defends the need to be optimistic about the possibility that Carnival can be celebrated in June with street dances. If so, the Canarian orchestras would be the protagonists. “Of course, Santa Cruz plans to hold a street party if the sanitary conditions allow it. We are clear that, if it can be carried out, what we are proposing is a very rooted Carnival, of local groups, very much a tribute to what has happened. I would not imagine a Carnival celebration in which the protagonists were not the Canarian orchestras, which have not worked for almost two years. And when I say Canarian orchestras, I also mean artists who are historic participants in the Santa Cruz Carnival, whose names and themes we all hold very close to our hearts, because they are part of the history of the festival”.

Cabello defends the need to keep open the possibility of celebrating Carnival in the street in June. “We are doing an exercise in optimism. In no phase of the current pandemic system is street carnival allowed, and it will continue to be so as long as there is a decree that implies the existence of a pandemic, and, therefore, restrictions. Only if that situation were to decline, which I understand is something that is the exclusive responsibility of the central government, could we tackle the organization on the street,” says Cabello.

But, for that, Fiestas need to be farsighted and that this possible decision does not catch the City Council without reaction time. "We set ourselves the deadline to make that decision in April, just after Easter, because from then on there would be no organizational guarantees to do anything with solvency," he said. Cabello clarifies that “neither organizationally, nor budgetarily speaking", will it be a party at the former heights. He opines that what is needed is a Carnival of encounter, that is a turning point in the recovery, because if something could be done in the street it would be a milestone. The intention is clear. "Do as much as we can as long as we can, but when we can."

Faced with the criticism received that this is not the time to think about parties, the mayor understands that “it is difficult to expose these approaches when we come from a weekend with the number of deaths that have been reported. But either we project five or six months ahead, or we are not capable of reacting”.

In relation to this, he points out that “the level of uncertainty that we are managing is reflected in the fact that the President of the Government of the Canary Islands himself is beginning to question even the number of deaths, how they are being counted, and that is his data. So he imagines the context in which the rest of the administrations move. It's very complicated". “I think that after two years -continues the councillor - it is time to start a process of de-escalation of the restrictions or at least start designing or setting dates to review some things. It does not seem prudent or realistic that the indicators to establish the phases remain the same as those of a year ago, when there was no vaccine.


Cabello defends his position of betting on Carnival in the street if the pandemic allows it. “They accuse me of being overly optimistic about Carnival, but the other option is to be pessimistic, and I think that would not be good for anyone. It is up to the Councillor for Fiestas to have a touch of optimism, but anchored to the reality,” he said. “The problem is that reality is changing for us every week, based on that it is difficult to maintain a plot line or stable communication. We have been adapting the plan based on the rules,” he adds. He ends stating that what is going to be celebrated in the street "is not a Carnival at the maximum, but one that allows us to meet again."