Mazatlán Carnival is the third largest Mardi Gras after New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro. It is a week of celebrations and parade beginning this year on Feb. 23 and continuing through Feb. 28. Mazatlán officially began this celebration in 1898. It is now one of the largest international attractions in Mazatlan attracting visitors from all over the world. Unlike carnivals is Rio and New Orleans, the Carnival in Mazatlán are mainly family events. It is a celebration of the life and people of the city,
Below is the Mazatlán Carnival calendar for 2016. Tickets can be bought at the Angela Peralta Theater in the Central Historic Area or at a kiosk at the Gran Plaza Mall. However, most of the events are free. Begin with a stroll down the Malecon to look at the beautiful decorations which change yearly with the theme. It is important to note that at all events, parking will be at a premium so plan on taking public transportation or buses.
Mazatlan Carnival Schedule 2016
Saturday, February 18th
The Mazatlán Carnival begins officially at 8:00 pm with the performance, “Evening of The Arts”, at the Angela Peralta Theater. Ticket prices are 250 to 500 pesos.
Thursday, February 23th
Between 2:00 to 7:00 pm, the Mazatlán Carnival get a more serious start at the Plaza Machada. This is the Festival of Food. All the restaurants will be preparing traditional Sinaloan dishes to sample in the Plaza.
7:30 just a few blocks away on Olas Atlas Malecon is the Coronation of the King of Joy, previously “El Rey Feo” King of Ugly, now King of Joy. This is 40 pesos general admission.
At 7:30 pm at the Terraza Las Pargos is the Annual Masquerade Ball. Tickets for this are 500 pesos. This is a not to be missed event with woman from all over competing for the right to appear on the floats with the Queen of the Mazatlan Carnival.
Friday, February 24th
At Venados, the baseball stadium at 8:30 pm is the Event “Floral Games”. This is 300 to 700 pesos. The event highlights literature and culture. There is the large concert and the coronation of the Flower Queen of the carnival. Awards are given to those who have written the top “flowery verses” or poem. A big prize is the Clemency Isaura Poetry award. However, the main prize will be the Literary Award for the best literary piece published during the year. The theme for this 2016 concert is Friday Night Fever and a tribute to the music of the Seventies and Eighties.
Saturday, February 25
Located at Venados, the baseball stadium, at 6:30 is the Coronation of the Queen of the Mazatlan Carnival. Tickets for this are 200 to 1500 pesos. This event includes a concert by a major Latin musical artist or group.
Saturday, February 25
8:00 pm on the Malecon is the Festival of the “Bad Mood Burning” or “Quema de Mal Humor”. Participants of this event rid themselves of all bad feelings accumulated the previous year. They do this by burning a giant puppet on the stree, usually an unpopular public figure who is burned in effigy. Admission is 40 pesos. A small price to pay to deal with a year of bad people!
10:30 pm is the wonderful re creation of the Navy Combat Battle Defense of Mazatlan. It is free and a dramazation of the original Navy Battle for the defense of Mazatlan during the French Colonial Invasion of 1864. This event recreates the battle with the French warship “La Cordeliere” and the British War Sloop “Charybdis”. It is a night of lights, lasers and pyrotechnics recreating the huge booming sounds and sights of cannons accompanies by fireworks all along the Malecon. This is one of the most popular events of the Carnival. You can also enjoy it on the sea by finding a tourist cruise ship out of the Marina.
Sunday, February 26
Beginning at 5:50 pm along the Malecon is the first parade of Mazatlan Carnival. It begins at Fisherman’s Monument and proceeds north along the Malecon to Valentinos. This event is free and it is good to find a restaurant or a seat in advance. It will be packed with families and vendors. These two parades are some of the most beautiful events I have seen in Mexico. They are not to be missed. I prefer the first one because it is darker, and the floats are spectacular.
Monday, February 27
The Salon Espectaculare on Avenida Cameron Sabalo is the site of the Children’s Dance. This begins at 10:00am and is filled with families and beautiful children dressed to the “ninth”.
The Olas Altas Malecon after dark is the site for the “Festival of Bands”. There will be a series of bands along the street, much beer, food and drink. The entire Malecon is closed to dancing and celebration. Admission is 40 pesos.
At 10:00 pm is the Festival of the Lights and huge displays of firework will take place all along the Malecon. This event is free and heavily attended, but the fireworks can be seen all over the city.
Tuesday, February 28
Finally at 4:30 pm is the second parade beginning at Valentino’s and continuing down the Malecon to the Fisherman’s Monument. This is free and signals the end of Carnival.
However Mazatlan Carnival is not all over. This night is Fat Tuesday and celebrations really get started on the Olas Altas Malecon. This party continues until way into the morning with bands, dancing and food. This is not the night for families and hopefully all small children are fast asleep.