Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Parade 2013
I've heard many times that the carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is something worth watching. "Second biggest in the world", "immediately after one ends, everybody starts preparing for the next one", "amount of feathers and sequins like you won't believe", etc, etc...
Last year we were quite content with much more humble offering of Corralejo and Puerto del Rosario, but this year I figured I should go have a look at Tenerife.
Now, I am not an expert on carnivals. Carnivals that I saw in the UK are basically few days affairs, sometimes just one-day affair, when you have a procession and that's pretty much it. Here it is not the case - various events leading up to the main parade start a few weeks in advance. But I couldn't of course drop everything and go for a few weeks, so I restricted myself to just four days. That allowed me to see the two biggest parades on the island - one in Santa Cruz on the day of arrival, one in Puerto de la Cruz on the day of departure, with the Burial of the Sardine and drag "put your heels on" parade in Puerto fitted in between.
I arrived to Santa Cruz well before the parade was due to start and had a pleasure of seeing people assembling for it, putting on their costumes and doing all those last minute things that tend to prevent almost every event in Canarias from starting on time.
It was good thing that I caught some pre-parade pics, as the weather started to turn worse. I am sorry to say that it did rain on their parade at some point.
Love the polka dots.
The white affair you see to the right is the dress of the queen of the carnival. I didn't manage to catch a good picture of her, but I am really happy with my pictures of my favorite "pretender to the throne" - beautiful woman in the very first picture.
One possible strategy to get in the first row is to arrive earlier, get into the position and stand there. Unlike Notting Hill, where you apparently should arrive a few hours earlier, I'd say about half an hour before the start is enough here, but you will have to position yourself towards the end of the route. That's what was suggested by one of the security staff I spoke to, but I did want those "before the parade" pics, so I ended up walking along the route, trying to climb onto whatever slight elevation I could find.
It was a good parade, definitely worth watching, but it didn't quite come up to my expectations. Some people in the crowd were saying that it was scaled down this your because of the unfortunate accident that I don't want to relate here. I am not sure if that was the case, or maybe the economic slump reflects even on carnivals, the upshot is it was not as good as usual.
So maybe I'll check again next year.
pics from Tenerife at shutterstock