Arona Day Carnaval Flows In The Streets

Have you ever seen locusts dressed as superheroes, drag queens, cowboys, and cartoon characters? The supermarkets in the centre of Los Cristianos saw plenty as the young party crowd for the Day Carnaval in Arona stocked up on every conceivable type of alcohol they could buy. As the dance music kicked in at noon the stage DJ was not the only one doing some mixing.

The big Saturday event has become a popular addition to the southern Carnaval scene and features an array of Spanish chart acts that whip the crowd into a swaying, bopping frenzy. The showground wasn’t as good this year as the Ayuntamiento (council) hiked the food and drink stall rents up, they normally form a perimeter barrier but absentees meant the crowd and the rubbish spilled out into the nearby side streets. The stage itself was mammoth as always and had recovered well from a collapse in the previous weeks gusty calima winds.

The costumes are always crazy, rude, and very inventive. The sun was belting down and some of the bulkier outfits must have made their wearers sweat like rivers, at least there was plenty to quench their thirsts. The boy bands made me feel like a dinosaur but there were plenty of older people, locals and visitors, getting drawn into the throng of dancers. It’s one of the busiest days of the Arona Carnaval and down by the old beach groups of colourful murgas were drawing a large crowd to the Plaza del Pescadora and even the statue of the fisherwoman was tapping her toes.

Later in the afternoon the fancy dress competition took place, it was quite a sight as parents and children struggled into their foam rubber, tinsel, and feathers and then applied liberal amounts of make up. I didn’t stay for the judging but as far as I was concerned they were all winners. Back at the showground the volume and pace was picking up with a second smaller stage due to kick in outside the cultural centre. The music went on into the early hours of the morning and I could feel the beat all the way up the hill. When I returned later that night the main supermarket had a security guard on the door to dilute the constant wave of youngsters looking to top up supplies.

Being an old codger from an early era I was happy to just dip in and out of the days celebrations but the great thing about Carnaval is everyone gets a chance to let their hair down. There are always a few moans about parking, noise, litter, and drinking but the whole anarchic atmosphere of Carnaval is a great tourist attraction and dam good fun.