Grand Parade

The Carnival has a very clear point of encounter the “Grand Parade” which crosses the city, covering over seven kilometres, normally during the last weekend of the festivities. 

The city grinds to a halt, giving up in the face of the crowds drawn by the parade. Over 200,000 Mascaritas (masked revellers) and a hundred festooned cars and floats accompany the Queen, the Drag Queen and the Grand Dame, to the beat of the music. It is the event which links Carnival with tradition and with the general public: the most spontaneous event and the one with the highest turnout.

The parade has a jury located at a strategic point on the route, which judges the cars and floats taking part; the parade is one of the greatest exponents of citizen participation, freedom, fun and debauchery.

The cavalcade has a secular tradition in the city: right back at the start of the 20th century, these parades were held in the historic centre, in the Vegueta quarter, according to the historical records. However, it was the people from La Isleta, the real guardians of the Carnival tradition during the years when it was prohibited, who were the ones to reactivate the celebration of Carnival in 1976. And they did this by convening a “Grand Parade”, after tough negotiation with the authorities of the time.