Mazatlán Vacation Rentals

by Mariana Vacation Rentals

Mazatlan Carnival: Everything You Need to Know

The Mazatlan Carnival is a spectacular event in a picturesque city nestled along Mexico’s Gold Coast. Mazatlan is not just known for its golden beaches and delectable seafood — it’s also home to Carnival Mazatlan, one of the largest and most colorful carnivals in the world.

This five-day festival held in February each year is a spectacle that brims with culture, tradition, and an infectious energy that sweeps through the city. The Mazatlan Carnival is a feast for the senses, where vibrant costumes, riveting music, and fervent dances converge to create a scene of unparallelled jubilation.

Every year, in the five days leading up to Ash Wednesday, the people of Mazatlan come together to celebrate our grandest festival. In 1998, the Mazatlan carnival marked its centennial in its modern form. During the carnival dates, Mazatlan undergoes a remarkable transformation. Not only are the streets adorned with vibrant decorations, but the atmosphere is also filled with an unmistakable sense of joy and excitement that permeates the hearts of the locals.

In Spanish, the event is called Carnaval Mazatlan.

One of the highlights of the carnival is the grand parade. This stunning spectacle showcases an array of floats adorned with intricate designs, each one outdoing the other in creativity and flamboyance. Participants, dressed in elaborate costumes, dance to the rhythm of Sinaloan banda music, their energy and joy permeating the crowd.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. The Mazatlan Carnival also features a variety of events, such as fireworks displays, concerts, and the crowning of the Carnival Queen — a tradition that dates back to the 1900s.

Whether you’re a lover of culture, a fan of festivals, or simply an admirer of life’s vibrant hues, the Mazatlan Carnival is an event not to be missed. It’s more than just a carnival; it’s a testament to the city’s spirit, a celebration of its rich heritage, and a tribute to the joy and vibrancy that is the essence of Mazatlan.

Mazatlan Carnival 2024: Save the Date!

The Mazatlan Carnival of 2024 is predicted to be bigger and better than ever before. With each passing year, this festival continues to grow in popularity, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe.

The 2024 Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico will take place from February 8 to February 13, 2024. This year’s carnival theme is “Baroque Eclipse” (Eclipse Baroque) as we celebrate the 126th anniversary of the first Carnival in Mazatlán in 1898!

As Carnival approaches, tickets for the paid 2024 Carnival events will be available for purchase starting from late January or early February 2024. Ensure you don’t miss out on the festivities and secure your tickets in advance at various locations around Mazatlan.

History of Mazatlan Carnival

In 1898, the carnival transitioned from a spontaneous celebration by the port’s inhabitants to a meticulously organized event governed by a civil committee, known as the “Junta”. This distinction makes it the oldest carnival in the country organized in such a manner.

A historic procession of chariots and adorned bicycles graced the streets of Plaza Machado amidst a swirling crowd, starting on Tuesday, February 22, 1898. The festivities introduced an air of facsimile celebration as Gerardo de la Vega was crowned the king of revelry, and a contest ensued among the adorned vehicles parading through. This momentous event marked the inception of the first Committee-organized carnival. As the age-old tradition of the flour game drew to a close, a new era emerged in Mazatlan carnestolendas, characterized by the modern tradition of confetti and streamers.

In the year 1900, a remarkable event unfolded as Wilfrida Farmer assumed the role of the Queen. She played the part of a consort to an eccentric and unhinged king named Teodoro Maldonado or Teodorico. This king, known for his absurd decrees and unreasonable slogans, added a touch of madness to the carnival festivities. Wilfrida Farmer, also known as Winnie, was born in Garland, Maine in 1882. Her father, Mr. Federico Farmer, had established himself in Mazatlan since 1885, running a workshop specialized in the repair and painting of carriages. At a young age, Winnie came to Mazatlan and called it home for over two decades until 1917 when she returned to her birthplace. It is believed that she received her education in Mazatlan, as she spoke Spanish fluently. She got married and had a daughter during her time here. At the age of seventeen, her father granted her permission to become the consort of the carnival king. Accounts describe Winnie as a compassionate and affectionate individual.

Carnival Mazatlan 2022

After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mazatlan Carnival took a much-needed break. As the carnival returned in 2022 with the theme “Lanao, El Viaje Continuar,” the excitement couldn’t be contained. That year marked the 124th season of one of the world’s largest carnivals, joining the ranks of the iconic 10-day Rio celebration and the vibrant single-day festivities of New Orleans. From February 24th to March 1st, Mazatlan came alive with a six-day Mardi Gras extravaganza, featuring coronations, fireworks, captivating concerts, thrilling games, dazzling parades, and unforgettable parties. All of these festivities unfolded along the 13-mile-long Malecon, which proudly held the title of Latin America’s longest boardwalk.

Carnival Mazatlan 2023

The Mazatlan Carnival of 2023 took place from February 26 to February 21. With its theme, Dejavu, Dreams of a Carnival (Dejavú, Sueños de un Carnaval), the carnival celebrated the unique joy and spirit of Sinaloa. The festivities included a colorful parade, elaborate costumes, traditional music, delicious food, and so much more. The highlight of the carnival was the crowning of the Carnival Queen for 2023 – a tradition that continues to honor women who have made significant contributions to the community. The 2023 queen was chosen based on her beauty, intelligence, and charisma, among other qualities.

What You Need to Know about Participating with Carnival Mazatlan:

If you’re planning to join in on the festivities of the Mazatlan Carnival, here are some things you need to know:

Getting to Mazatlan for the Carnival:

Mazatlan is easily accessible via air travel, with its own international airport located just 20 minutes from the city center. You can also reach Mazatlan by bus or car, with major highways connecting it to other cities in Mexico.

Mazatlan Accommodations:

Mazatlan offers a variety of accommodations, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. During the carnival dates, it’s recommended to book your accommodation well in advance as many hotels tend to be fully booked. Mariana Vacation Rentals offers apartments, vacation homes and hotel rooms.

What to Wear:

The Mazatlan Carnival is all about vibrant colors and extravagant costumes. If you plan on participating in the parade or other events, feel free to let your creativity run wild with your costume. If not, simply dress comfortably and be prepared for warm weather as February is typically a warm month in Mazatlan.

Carnival Queen Selection:

The selection of the Carnival Queen is a highly anticipated event during the carnival. Participants compete in various categories such as traditional costumes, bathing suits, and evening gowns. The queen is chosen based on her beauty, grace, and poise.

Event of the Arts:

A popular event taking place during the carnival is the “Event of the Arts” (Evento de las Artes), a showcase of Mazatlan’s rich artistic and cultural heritage. This event features traditional music, dance, and art performances, as well as modern displays from local artists.

Tips for Enjoying the Carnival:

  • Stay hydrated: With all the dancing and excitement, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the festivities.
  • Bring cash: While some events may have credit card options, it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand for food, drinks, and souvenirs.
  • Be respectful of cultural traditions: The Mazatlan Carnival is a celebration of local culture and heritage. Be sure to respect any customs or traditions during your visit.

Carnival Mazatlan Excursions:

In addition to the main carnival events, there are also various excursions and activities available for those looking to explore more of Mazatlan. These include:

  • Island Tours: Take a boat ride to one of the nearby islands and spend the day snorkeling, swimming, or simply relaxing on the beach.
  • Adventure Activities: For thrill-seekers, there are options such as zip lining, ATV tours, and parasailing available.
  • Cultural Tours: Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Mazatlan with guided tours to historic sites, museums, and local markets.

No matter how you choose to experience Carnival Mazatlan 2024 or any future carnivals, it is sure to be a memorable and exciting celebration. There are plenty of other things to do in Mazatlan while you are here. Take a look.

What other events take place during the 5 day Mazatlan festival?

In addition to the main carnival events, there are various events that take place during the 5-day Mazatlan festival. These include:

  • Firework shows: The carnival is known for its spectacular firework displays, which can be seen throughout the city.
  • Street parties: The streets of Mazatlan come alive with music, dancing, and food as locals and tourists join together to celebrate.
  • Beauty pageants: In addition to the selection of the Carnival Queen, there are also beauty pageants for other categories such as Best Dressed Couple and Little King and Queen.
  • Food festivals: Mazatlan is known for its delicious seafood, and during the carnival, you can find food vendors selling a variety of traditional dishes.

With so much to see and do, the Mazatlan Carnival is a must-visit event for anyone looking to experience the vibrant culture and festive atmosphere of Mexico.

Specific list of events include:

  • Evening of the Arts
  • Carnival Fair
  • Food Festival
  • Masquerade Ball
  • Street Party
  • King of Joy Coronation
  • Floral Games Queen Coronation
  • Carnival Queen Coronation
  • Bad Mood Riddance
  • Naval Combat Fireworks
  • Inaugural (Sunday) Carnival Parade
  • Children’s Queen Coronation
  • Children’s Fantasy Ball
  • Festival of Lights Fireworks
  • Great performance on the Monday of Carnival
  • Second (Tuesday) Carnival Parade

Where to Stay during Carnival Mazatlan:

As mentioned, it’s important to book your accommodation in advance for the Mazatlan Carnival. Here are a few recommended options for where to stay during the festivities:

  • El Cid Resorts: This resort offers beachfront accommodations and is just a short walk from the carnival parade route.
  • Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa: Located on the northern end of Mazatlan

Where to Eat during the Mazatlan Carnival:

Mazatlan is known for its delicious seafood, and the carnival is the perfect time to indulge in some local cuisine. Here are a few popular restaurants to try during your visit:

  • Pancho’s: This restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes and traditional Mexican fare.
  • La Costa Marinera: Enjoy fresh, grilled seafood with a stunning view of the ocean.
  • Shrimp Bucket: As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in delicious shrimp dishes.

With its rich history and vibrant celebrations, Carnival Mazatlan is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the beauty and culture of Mexico.

Take a look at Mazatlan restaurants here.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Mazatlan Carnival:

Is Mazatlan Carnival like Mardi Gras?

Yes, Carnival in Mazatlán is essentially similar to Mardi Gras, but with a unique touch of artistry, abundant Pacifico beer, and vibrant festivities! The Carnival in Mazatlán holds the distinction of being the 3rd largest in the world, following the renowned celebrations in Rio De Janeiro and New Orleans.

When is Carnival Mazatlan 2024?

Carnival in Mazatlán is celebrated in February, the 5 days leading up to Ash Wednesday. The dates vary each year. This year’s celebration will be February 8-13.

Is Carnival Mazatlan only celebrated by locals?

No, people from all over Mexico and the world come to Mazatlán to experience its carnival celebrations. It’s a lively and inclusive event that welcomes everyone to join in on the fun.

How many people celebrate the Carnival?

The Carnival in Mazatlán attracts over 300,000 visitors each year, making it a major tourist event for the city.

Can I bring my kids to the carnival?

Yes, there are many family-friendly events and activities during the Mazatlan Carnival. However, it’s always best to use your discretion and choose appropriate events for your children.