How to enjoy Once upon a time at Carnival as a family

The celebrations have a generous portion of their schedule set aside for the younger audience, in a year when children's tales have a greater role than ever.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 6 February, 2020.— The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival has been the centre of attention on the global map for years: immediately identifiable features such as the striking Drag Queens or the sumptuous dresses worn by the contenders for Carnival Queen are often associated with all the fun offered in the street programme. However, the schedule also has space set aside for the little ones and the family audience. And it's no small space: in 2020, Once upon a Time at Carnival once again has parties, competitions and parades specially designed for children. Those children are the grass roots which Carnival will grow from, although all of these fixtures give an enthusiastic welcome to visitors in the city over these dates.

As well as this, in this year, the theme chosen as the setting for Carnival could not be more suitable for children: the world of stories and fairy tales. Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretel, the Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk... The universe to choose a costume from is practically limitless if what you want is to enjoy the celebrations as a family, and in line with Carnival fashion for 2020. There are plenty of establishments for those passing through if they want, with costumes and complements on sale, in the big shopping centres in the Gran Canaria capital, or in the open air shopping areas like Triana or Mesa y López.

Children's schedule

Have we got a costume already? In that case, it's time to take a look at the programme, and to choose the moments when we want to enjoy the children's Carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The celebrations start on 7 February, with the Official Opening in Santa Ana Square, right in the heart of the historic centre of the city, preceded by a Carnival Parade which is a good first point of contact (20.30 hrs, in the area around the Cathedral).

The competitions for the youngest audience start on Saturday, 8 February, on the huge Santa Catalina stage (a magic place where the stories will unfold). The children's street bands make their debut there (19.00 hrs) and a large number of groups of children in fancy dress will show themselves off on Sunday, 9 February, at 11.00 hrs, in a massive family encounter. As is the case for all the children's Carnival events, access to the enclosure is free.

The Children's Gala is scheduled at 18.30 hrs on Sunday, 16 February, and boys and girls can compete with their striking outfits for the festivities' little crown. The same day on which the Dog's Carnival takes place at 12.00 hrs, another favourite with families.

Big weekend

This is a taster for the big weekend of the celebrations, stretching from Friday 21 to Tuesday 25 February (Carnival Tuesday). Over that long weekend, the Family Carnival is scheduled in Triana (22 Saturday, 12.00 hrs, once again in the historic city centre), the children's murgas encounter (on Sunday 23 in Santa Catalina, at 11.00 hrs) and the children's Cavalcade, a great event for the youngest audience, in a grand parade of costumes, groups and floats which leaves from León y Castillo Street, the city's main street, heading for Santa Catalina Park, to round off the party in great style (also on Sunday 23, from 17.00 hrs onwards).

Although there's nothing to say that families can't go to the Carnaval al Sol (Sun Carnival) at Las Canteras Beach on Saturday 22, a unique party parade alongside the beach, (starting at 17.00 hrs) or experience the Daytime Carnival at Santa Catalina right in the middle of the holiday Tuesday (12.00 hrs).

The end of the fiesta

The Once upon a time Carnival ends on Saturday 29 February, with a grand cavalcade which the youngest children can watch in its early stages, although later the celebrations turn into something more suitable for the grown-ups. And on 1 March, with the traditional Sardine's Funeral, where the widows weep over the death of Carnival (Don Carnal), and which also leaves from León y Castillo Street at 19.00 hrs, heading out to Las Canteras Beach, where the fantasy fish is set fire to, and the fireworks dazzle on the beach.