The Drag Queen Gala introduces the last weekend of Carnival before the farewell parade

The coronation of the king of platform heels, an event with international following, precedes the Grand Parade in the programme, and comes before a Sunday that will bid farewell to the Sardine

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1 March 2023. – 3 March is the day: the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Drag Queen Gala will celebrate its 25th anniversary. It marks a quarter of a century over which the Drag Queen throne aspirants have not only gained great popularity among the general public in the main festivities of the city, but also in which the event has become the unique sign of identity of a Carnival that has just been designated a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest by the Spanish state.

Up to 14 participants will compete for the sceptre that marks out the Drag Queen in a Gala featuring a star performance by American pop rock singer Anastacia. The event will be broadcast on television and social media (@lpacarnaval) for the whole planet to see. The Gala on Friday 3 March (9:15 pm, GMT+0) is a big event within the universe of Drag, an important date for Carnival and a unique show for spectators from outside the island. With tickets sold out for the show in the 2023 purpose-built Studio 54 in Santa Catalina Park, the social networks, using hashtag #draglpgc, will be the main hosts for comments on this great contest of the platforms. So much so, that year after year it climbs the ranks to become #TT Worldwide.

The Drag Queen coronation opens the last weekend of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival in 2023. That same night, various concerts will take place on the two stages around the Plaza de la Música, located at the far western edge of the famous Las Canteras beach. There, a crowd of people in costumes will once more gather to enjoy yet another dose of Carnival, to be followed, on Saturday 4 March, by the celebration of the Grand Parade as it makes its way all around the city.

The Grand Parade

This parade, a historic feature in the programme, has been a real symbol, conveying the character of the Carnival of the capital of Gran Canaria ever since 1976, when, less than a year after Franco’s death and in the midst of the downfall of the dictatorship, the citizens recovered a secular tradition for their city. The tradition of Carnival, fancy dress, irreverence and freedom.

The Parade, with its long line of floats (over a hundred) where many celebrate this evening with different types of music and to different beats, leaves at 5:00 pm from the iconic Castillo de La Luz (the former fortress which defended the city from Barbary pirate raids) and continues along the whole length of the city centre until coming to a stop in San Telmo Park, the gateway to the historic quarter of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Triana and Vegueta, the earliest heart of the city). The whole event is about partying and having fun, two qualities that are never missing from the organisers’ agenda. The night ends on a high with concerts in El Rincón, next to the Plaza de la Música, and in San Telmo.

Sunday celebration in Santa Catalina

Sunday 5 March sees no slowing down in the partying. Starting at noon, a Daytime Carnival will again be held in the area around the Plaza de la Música and Santa Catalina, as well as in San Telmo. At 3:00 pm an international Carnival event with the Colombian musician Carlos Vives will take place on the stage in Santa Catalina Park. The artist will be the star of the last day of this year’s Carnival before the Burial of the Sardine retinue sets off from the same location at around 7:00 pm for Las Canteras. There, after arriving accompanied by the cortege of mourning widows and costumed participants, the fish will go up in flames and fireworks will be set off to bid farewell to the Carnival until its return in 2024.