If you’re the type to pore over your calendar at your apartment at La Manga Club waiting for the next exciting holiday, the Cartagena Carnival should make you sit up and take notice. Like all the great festivals in the region, this one brings with it wonderful seasonal foods like buñuelos and fried milk, but today we invite you to get drawn in by the rhythms and the colours designed to delight the whole family. Head out from our great golf resort for a few hours, dress up however you like, and don’t forget about the street parades or the important events like the naming of the Carnival Queens or the Regional Festival of Chirigotas. Take note of the dates, and celebrate!
Naming of the Cartagena Carnival Queens
If you join the masked and costumed Carnival fun near your apartment at La Manga Club, you could call yourself king or queen for a day, too. But the Carnival Queens are something truly unique. There’s no Cartagena native that hasn’t dreamed at least once of wrapping herself in feathers and sequins to become the protagonist of this celebration of joy and originality. And now even the youngsters can dare to dream: for the third consecutive year, this coming Friday the 22nd of February, the activity programme begins with the selection of the Children’s Queen, the day before the Gran Gala where they choose the Carnival Queen 2019. These two events exemplify the whimsy and aspiration with which the contestants create their voluminous outfits and incredible choreography, the work of hours of practice and attention to detail that finally pays off.
The Drag Queen Contest and the Chirigotas Festival
It’s not only the Queens that hope to show off their best in the Cartagena Carnival, but the Drag Queens too, competing on Monday the 25th for first prize in what will be the fourth National Contest of this type in the Murcian city. With entertainment and 15-centimeter platform heels at their greatest heights, none of the individual participants or group contestants deliver anything less than their best. A whole year of preparation goes into a successful performance, where the bright colours and brilliance of the makeup and the outfits reign supreme.
Meanwhile, at “El Batel” or the XVII Regional Contest of Chirigotas, prizes are given not only to those with great costumes, but also for inventive and entertaining social criticism. The semi-finals will be the 27th and 28th and the grand finale the 1st of March. Don’t miss finding out who wins the prize for the Best Costume of Chirigota, the Best Performance, the Best Original Music or the Best Lyrics.
Carnival Street Parades
Lastly, if you prefer to dress up and celebrate out in the open when you leave your apartment at La Manga Club, you’ll have your first opportunity on Friday the 22nd at the Welcome Parade. The 26th and the 27th will see the various local dance groups fill the streets with their incredible costumes and performances, while Friday the 1st of March is the best day for children. It’s all a warm up for the grand Carnival Street Parade on Saturday the 2nd, the day that the comparsas show off their creations, replete with brilliance and colour. Led by Don Carnal and Doña Cuaresma, the floats that carry the Carnival Queens are perhaps the most spectacular, followed by the groups from outside Cartagena. And the final stroke is the Don Carnal Street Parade on Carnival Day itself, Tuesday the 5th, the final goodbye until next year’s celebration…
At last the wait is over and you can get out on the streets again to live the Cartagena Carnival! If you don’t want to miss a thing, consult the activity programme, leave your apartment at La Manga Club for a few hours, and enjoy this festival where there are no written rules of comportment and where everyone decides whom he or she wants to be!