Mazatlan’s Mardi Gras, one of the national biggest and best bashes, sees thousands of costumed revellers thronging the streets and beaches. It's a wonderful paradox that, five days before Lent, in a time of meditation and religious ceremonies when the pleasures of the flesh are put on hold - remember, Mexico's population is around 70% catholic- people literally fill the streets, letting their hair down in a non-stop party that ends the day before Ash Wednesday.
Mazatlan’s International Carnaval is a seven-day, multi-event affair with parades, floats and fancy dress balls. The first recorded Carnaval in town was in 1848 but it wasn’t until 50 years later than the event took its present form and the first Carnaval Queen was crowned. These days the “coronation” takes place at the baseball stadium accompanied by fireworks, confetti cannons and a popular concert.
Each evening Olas Altas is the perfect scenario for this all-singing, all-dancing “bacchanalia”, with concerts and sound and light shows. Feel the breeze on your body while enjoying vibrant music and interacting with the local people. This is the place to practise your banda and cumbia dance steps. The partying usually goes non-stop until 4 am, so make time for a siesta.
For those who prefer a more refined form of celebration, carnaval's activities include the famous poetry contest: Juegos florales, where the audience sits back and marvels at the verbal and intellectual skills of performers from sonnets to contemporary free forms. Plan your trip. For 2013, the carnival falls between February 7th and 12th.