February 12 to 17, 2015
Carnaval in La Paz, Baja California Sur, México, Carnival
*Please note the correct spelling is “Carnaval,” meaning the end of carne (meat) for the period of Lent. It is spelled both ways in this article for the benefit of search engines as well as those folks who don’t know which spelling is correct. Source: https://www.bajainsider.com/baja-life/events/carnival/carnival-la-paz.htm#.UtGYI_bajpQ
The director of tourism for La Paz has announced Carnaval La Paz 2014 will take place February 27 through March 4, 2014. Pedro Aguilar Bazúa says that preparations are already under way and they are asking that all Southern Baja residents help make the 2014 edition a success.
La Paz, Baja California Sur (BCS) – The billboard artists performing at the malecón kiosk will be Edson Zuñiga on February 27; Sasha, Benny and Erik Rubin, formerly of Timbiriches, on February 28; Los Angeles Azules on March 1; Paty Cantú on March 2; Edith Márquez on March 3; and Banda MS on March 4.
La Paz Mayor Esthela Ponce Beltran announced the party will have a cost of approximately 10 million pesos, of which 20 percent is adduced by the City hall. The city expects the financial benefit to be 20 million pesos; the hotels, she said, will benefit the most, since they reach 70 to 80 percent occupancy.
This year, there will be 55 parade floats from La Paz and Los Cabos.
Unlike in recent years, the queen of the carnaval will have her coronation at the malecon kiosk, as was the tradition before.
There will be 850 police out in force to handle security during carnaval. And the police department expects the recent trend of fewer and fewer arrests—generally related to fights or alcohol—each year to continue.
It seems hard to imagine, as most of us think of carnaval La Paz as an institution in the culture mosiac of La Paz. But last year, 2013, almost saw the end of Carnaval, at least temporarily. It was in part, due to the efforts of Mayor Esthela Ponce Beltrán that sponsors outside the La Paz community saved the event.
With the cost of headline acts, cost of security, decorations, cleanup, and all the civic things that go into carnaval, the bill for Carnaval 2013 exceeded $880,000 U.S. for the City of La Paz. There have been growing expectations over the last decade or more over what is expected of Carnaval La Paz. And each year the city felt the need to raise the bar over the year before. Perhaps more importantly, competition from other cities in Mexico with new or established carnavals even lead to the national broadcast of some of the La Paz Carnaval on Mexican national television in 2010. Apparently, it didn’t lead to big “Nielson Numbers” so it hasn’t happened since.
The festival of carnaval (carnival) is celebrated as a last indulgence of carnal pleasures that Catholics must give up for 40 days of fasting during Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. In fact, the word carnaval is derived from Latin, meaning take away or goodbye to flesh, and strict Catholics will give up meat eating during Lent.
Carnaval is officially celebrated for five days, leading up to Ash Wednesday, with the most vigorous celebration taking place over the one weekend in Mexico. The wearing of masks during Carnaval is said to be a pagan practice as protection from evil spirits, but most likely evolved as a way to participate fully in the celebration with some anonymity.
2014 – February 26 to March 4
2015 – February 11 to 17
2016 – February 5 to 9
In the Baja California Peninsula, the two main carnaval (carnival) celebrations occur in Ensenada and La Paz. The Ensenada carnaval extends for six days and consists of the quema del mal humor, dances, parades with floats, a royal court and more. It is one of the most important tourist events in northwestern Mexico attracting about 300,000 visitors including many from California. It has had performances by Joan Sebastián, Alejandra Guzmán, Magneto, Caló, Polo Polo and others. The modern La Paz Carnival was begun in 1898, making it one of the oldest in the country. Before that, celebration of Carnival was limited to formal affairs at the houses of the rich. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival_in_Mexico