Las Palmas de Gran Canaria lets itself be swept away by Carnival's great fable

The Drag Queen and the Queen, in addition to the celebrations taking place in the street (and also during the day) become the major stars of a programme which transforms everyday life in this open and cosmopolitan city.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 6 February, 2020.— Once upon a time... A Carnival with the magic of a fairy tale: a unique fable that pans out in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which the locals experience to the full and which is a particular attraction for travellers visiting the city. In 2020 this Carnival has many years of experience behind it, with an extensive programme open to all, and it has established a vocation to break rules and have fun as its standard.

This year this fiesta is a tale which builds up around Santa Catalina Park, the place where all the main acts are held, with a stage which has been built for that very objective. But it actually begins in Vegueta (7 February, with the official opening speech at 21.00 hrs), the original birthplace of a city which is now the main hub of the mid Atlantic: a compulsory connection when crossing between Europe, Africa and America. This is why Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is an open, cosmopolitan and multicultural city. And this is why its Carnival is a reflection of all of that. And that’s going to be the case again until 1 March.

The traveller can enjoy this fiesta throughout a programme which gives a leading role in its first week to the murgas and the comparsas (satirical performances and street bands) after choosing its Grand Dame (9 February, at 20.00 hrs, in Santa Catalina): the first member of a court where there is room for both sexes, young, adult and elderly. Carnival is for everyone in this story.

That first week of the celebrations also boasts the fancy-dress competition (pure Carnival, Thursday 13 at 21.00 hrs). And the junior crown will be chosen (Junior Gala, Sunday 16, 18.30 hrs). All these events, such as the murgas and comparsas competitions, on these dates, are free entry and open to the public.

The exception is the murgas final on 15 February (20.00 hrs). It's also important to keep a close eye on the dates when the organisers announce the sale of tickets for the Queen Gala, the Drag Queen Shortlisting and the Drag Queen Gala. These acts fill up the big weekend of the fiesta, between 21 and 25 February, and although the prices are very reasonable, tickets (at the ticket office and over the internet) are in high demand: tickets sell out in hours.

Meanwhile, another unmissable feature on the programme are the Carnival gatherings in the street, which are also daytime events: in Vegueta (15 February), Santa Catalina (25) and Las Canteras (22). As well as the grand cavalcade (29). It's here that costume turns into the real king of the tale of Carnival.