Carnaval in Cozumel is a really, really big deal. Parades are what immediately come to mind for most people, but there is so much more. It’s an entire season of fun!
There are parades. Three of them in fact. There are also king and queen competitions in many categories, a performance and concert series, expanded Parque Andres Quintana Roo vendors, and a Paint ‘N Run event. Community dance groups perform in parks and on the streets, and dance in competitions. Carnaval decorations are everywhere and it all wraps up with the ceremonial burning of Juan Carnaval. Mr. Spectacular Fernando Ferraez serves as host and emcee at many events. He has a flamboyant style all his own. It is all so, so much.
Carnaval is a 150-year-old tradition in Cozumel. It is the oldest Carnaval on the Yucatan peninsula, and possibly even the oldest in Mexico. What we love is how much this is a family-oriented event. In the 1970s the celebrations fell into degenerate debauchery and became monotonous. The popularity dwindled until the local government began overseeing the events by 1975 and revived the celebration for the families on the island. It is now a healthy celebration for all ages and is filled with festivities, both glamorous and fun.
I hear about tourists visiting for just one night of parades, and I am sure that when they leave they feel they have experienced what Carnaval season is like in Cozumel. I’ll be sharing a series of posts this month to give you an overview of the season and explain why staying on the island for even a whole month will leave you struggling to see it all.