Plenty of parties for Carnival

Trinidad CarnivalGot a craving for Carnival? If you can’t get to Rio, don’t just give up and stay home. There are plenty of places in Mexico and the Caribbean, from Mazatlan to Dominica, to celebrate the annual bacchanal. And there’s still time to get there!

The Mazatlan Carnival lasts six days (in 2010, it’s from Feb. 11 to 16), and is centered along the Paseo Olas Altas—with food and beer stands, bands, dancing and costume parades. It’s not just wanton partying, however. Families are encouraged and there are arts events and concerts for all ages.

The Trinidad Carnival is the largest Carnival celebration in the Caribbean. The party lasts for two days (in 2010, it’s Feb. 15 and 16), but islanders prepare for it months in advance. In the last month before Carnival, the calypso tents open—with cultural shows, soca concerts and moko jumbies. But save your energy for the main event, which begins early on the Monday morning of Carnival with J’Ouvert, when revelers wear homemade costumes, mud and grease for their parade through the streets.

Aruba’s Carnival has an all-day grand parade on Sun., Feb. 14, which is the big (but not final) event. There’s a “farewell parade” and a ceremonial burning of King Momo on Mardi Gras, Tue., Feb. 16. Bring your dancing shoes for all the jump-ups and torchlight parades.

Carnival in Dominica is known locally as “Mas Domnik,” and considered the Caribbean’s most original Carnival. Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 15 and 16) are the main days with costume parades, but the festival has already started. Check out the queen pageant, the calypso band competition and street jump-ups.

I’ll be in my beloved city of New Orleans on Mardi Gras. Will you be celebrating Carnival? Where?

Posted by | Comments (5)  | January 29, 2010
Category: Central America, Food and Drink, South America

5 Responses to “Plenty of parties for Carnival”

  1. Ruth@Exodus Says:

    Really nice guide thanks- some ones you don’t instantly think of! Although, Rio will always be the carnival king!

  2. Brett Says:

    Carnaval de Cádiz!!! (Spain)

  3. InternationalSwagger Says:

    I will be in Rio this year but last year I was in Olina/Recife in NE Brazil and that was a blast…considered the most authentic Carnival in Brazil and I played Mas in Trinidad in 2006 with TRIBE…had a blast!

  4. Allison Says:

    Ill be in Florianopolis, Brazil for carnival staying with, it will be amazing, I was there last year.

  5. Jeremy Says:

    Great guide .. I like the one in Quito, Ecuador 🙂 Had a blast . lots of water