Cabalgata Parade Welcomes Cuba To Los Cristianos Carnaval

Feathers, glitter, high heels, face paint, and hours of dedication are the basic recipes for a good carnaval parade but it’s the people who make it come to life. The 2016 theme for Los Cristianos Carnaval was Old Havana so there were plenty of Cuban influences as the opening cabalgata parade assembled outside Veronicas in Playa de Las Americas.

The carnaval is the pride of Arona and the big introduction linked the two big resorts in the municipality. As afternoon beach time merged into evening food time a stream of enthusiasts of all ages slipped into their costumes, and found their chalked off areas outside the nightclub capital of Tenerife south. Many holiday makers, including a couple of large stag parties soon caught the bug and memorable poses were struck with dancing girls, drummers, and famous characters such as Popeye, and Harpo Marx.

Crisp, loud drum beats brought everyone to attention and off the parade set in a cacophony of noise and colour as it worked its way past hotels with bulging balconies. Even on a slightly cool march evening the performers must have felt very hot under all their trimmings but the energy levels never dropped as the long stretch of revelers moved slowly towards Los Cristianos. Husbands and wives found themselves being snatched and enveloped into the heart of the parade much to the amusement of their camera totting other half’s.

Maybe it was a response to the surge in Tenerife visitors or maybe the ever more resourceful creations of the entrants but it seemed to attract even bigger crowds than in recent years. Vantage points were as always at a premium and even delicious dinners and intoxicating cocktails were temporarily ignored as cafe and restaurant guests rose to enjoy the spectacle. By the time the leaders had disrobed at the CC Oasis shopping centre a good two hours had passed and people were slowly melting away to enjoy the further temptations of the showground set up next to the Valdes Centre.

After adjourning for a cheeky beer I popped into the showground to see how the new addition of a wig party was being received. Despite combing the area I found the headgear a little thin on top but there were plenty of dancers up and swaying as music belted out from the main stage. It had all the makings of a classic carnaval, I will have further reports and photos, there’s always plenty of fun to go around.