ONE OF THE MOST spectacular events to attend in 2019, the Torrevieja Carnival starts this weekend Saturday 2nd February and concludes on Sunday 3rd March, with officials promising that the event will be even better than in previous years.
The history of the Torrevieja Carnival dates back to the latter 1980s, specifically to a small group named the “Friends of Carnival” who began holding small parades concentrated in a series of organised parties where neighbours spent time dancing to music in the streets.
Today´s Torrevieja Carnival is a much more elaborate affair that involves officials from the Town Hall, local police, rigorous planning, a colourful cast of hundreds, and an audience that number in their tens of thousands.
The councillor for fiestas, Domingo Perez was quoted as stating that “The carnival is one of the most important, anticipated and admired festivities in the city of Torrevieja. Last year, a member of the jury told me ´keep in mind that you have a jewel in the palm of your hands´. I’m going to listen to him.”
Torrevieja Carnival: the Drag Queen parade
The Vice President of the Cultural Association Carnival of Torrevieja, César Berná, revealed a new website dedicated the Torrevieja Carnival that has been developed this year, stating that “The new website offers a window into the world of the Torrevieja Carnival.”
Two of the most popular and flamboyant events of the carnival are the Drag Queen Parade and the National Drag Queen Contest. Participants spend months preparing the beautiful and eye-catching costumes and perfecting dance routines in order to compete for the drag queen prize.
And for the first time in the history of Torrevieja´s annual event, women will be able to compete in the Drag Queen Contest alongside their male drag artist counterparts. César Berná explained that this change had been made at the request of the citizens of Torrevieja.
Torrevieja’s street parades take inspiration from the traditional Brazilian festivals such as the world-renowned Rio de Janeiro Carnival that takes place next month. However, unlike Rio´s celebrations that last just five days, the Costa Blanca city will keep the party spirit alive for a full month, with the event culminating on Sunday 3rd March.
The Torrevieja Carnival kicks off on Saturday 2nd February with the proclamation of the carnival and coronation of the carnival queens from 9:00 pm at the Auditorio Internacional.
The Carnival spirit: music, dancing and laughter
The following Saturday 9th February one of the most anticipated events of the entire carnival takes place, with the eleventh annual Drag Queen Contest taking place at the Auditorio Internacional from 9:30 pm.
The carnival continues with the National Chirigotas Contest on Saturday 16th February, once again to be held at the Auditorio Internacional from 9:00 pm.
The following day, on Sunday 17th February, the third edition of the Carnavalera Day will take place at the Plaza de Oriente from midday.
The first street event of the annual celebrations will see dancers and musicians parade through the centre of the Spanish city, the serving of a giant open-air paella, and organised games and activities suited to all ages.
On Sunday 24th February the Grand Parade of the Carnival Contest for 2019 takes place, a parade that starts from the Plaza de María Asunción and proceeds to Calle Clemente Gosálvez, starting at 5:00 pm.
The Torrevieja Carnival: watch the colourful parades
The Carnival Party for the Elderly is scheduled for Thursday 28th February from 6:00 pm, and the Children´s Parade “El Carnaval de Los Coles” takes place the following day on Friday 1st March at 5:00 pm.
The month-long celebrations culminate in a magnificent and final street parade on the evening of Saturday 2nd March. The great carnival night parade starts at 7.30 pm beginning in the Plaza de María Asunción and proceeding to Calle Clemente Gosálvez.
Tickets for the events being held at the Auditorio Internacional will cost €6.00 per person, and tickets are available from the Municipal theatre in Plaza Miguel Hernández or from the Auditorio Internacional. The theatres’ ticket office is open Monday to Friday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
For more information about the Torrevieja Carnival just click here to download the official programme.
Photo credit: LaZenia.com