The Royal Carnival Court parades on the streets

The arrival of the queens... and Drag Queen: “Once upon a time at Carnival” comes to a close on the streets of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in a celebration-packed weekend headed by our monarchs.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 28 February, 2020.—The arrival of the queens...and the Drag Queen: Once upon a time at Carnival comes to a close on the streets of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in a celebration-packed weekend headed by our monarchs. Our “royals” will step down from the stage - the scene of their coronation - to lead a bustling mass of costumed carnival-goers in non-stop parades throughout Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1 March. It is, indeed, the weekend we’ve all been waiting for, with the Grand Parade, the Children’s Parade and the Burial of the Sardine. Each one will be reigned by three queens and a drag - symbols of this celebration – who will be warmly welcomed by their adoring subjects.

The great carnival parade par excellence is known as the Cabalgata and is planned from 17.00 hrs onwards on Saturday the 29th. It will start from Castillo de La Luz, an old fortress where the islanders defended the city from buccaneers such as the British Drake and Hawkins, or the Dutch Van der Does. Over one hundred floats will leave the castle, decorated with in spirit of the 2020 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival theme “Once upon a time...” These colourfully decked-out floats will carry scores of dancing mascaritas (costumed carnival-goers) who’ll greet the cheering crowds all along the route towards San Telmo Park.

The Drag Queen will shine from the very beginning, hailed by the crowds as regent in the first ceremony in the company of the other drag contest finalists. Carnival Queen, Minerva Hernández, will also take the spotlight with her maids of honour, along with the Great Dame, Chari Alvarado, who was crowned queen of the senior category. And the final touch: the countless Carnival groups: murgas and comparsas that will sing and dance along the entire route towards Parque San Telmo to culminate in Santa Catalina Park for the last night - Noche de Carnival - and its concerts.

On the following day, Sunday 1 March, two parades are scheduled to leave the renovated boulevard of Mesa y López, one of the city’s main open-air shopping areas. The Children’s Parade starts at 17.00 hrs, led by our little queen and her maids of honour. The parade ends at Mercado del Puerto, a unique gastronomical and leisure hub with striking architecture designed by Gustavo Eiffel, located at the far end of Las Canteras beach.

Finally, the Burial of the Sardine will start from Mesa y López at 19.00 hrs. This symbolic funeral procession takes a huge mock fish to Las Canteras beach to burn it, accompanied by the Carnival Queen, Drag Queen and the Great Dame, along with all the Carnival groups and hoards of widows that weep inconsolably at the end of the celebrations. We say goodbye to this year’s festivities with the smouldering sardine evaporating out at sea, as dazzling fireworks light up Las Canteras to announce that, once upon a time…there was a fairy-tale Carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.