It’s Carnival Time!

Maybe for the last time
BY: JORGE RUIZ-ESPARZA

La Paz is pretty famous for their carnival festivities. This year’s carnival committee, backed by municipal authorities, has now officially released the new logo and theme, confirming the dates. The theme will  be “Grandes Navegantes” or Great Navigators, which is paying respect to all sailors, and certainly boosting the city’s sailing image marked by the vast array of sailboats in the bay of La Paz and the city’s five marinas.

The committee is headed by Rubén Muñoz, mayor of the city. Muñoz has also confirmed that this year’s carnival will need to be self  supporting, in light of the city’s massive debts passed down from the last administration. And the administration before that. The committee has announced this year’s carnival will cost $600,000 to $700,000 USD. Much of that cost is the entertainment provided. It’s hard to charge the attendees, since it’s an open venue that anybody can stroll into. The director of the Municipal Institute of Culture, Rolando Placier, was present during the unveiling of this year’s logo and made use of the occasion to announce that local groups and artists will kick-start the carnival, following artists from other parts of the country.

Martínez has also announced that this year will very likely be the last year the carnival will be held on the Malecon. The recent remodeling of the seafront walk reduced the size of the street, making it difficult to fit in all the carney rides, food stands, and concert stage. The parade will remain on the street fronting the Malecon, even though the rest of the festivities will hit the road.

The VIP zones for the concerts and musical expositions will now be eliminated, giving early birds a chance to grab a front-row seat.

As always, there will be a coronation for the king and queen of the festivity, comedy acts, musical performances, dances, games and everything else you would expect for a carnival. At this moment the parade floats from last year have been brought out, and dusted off, and are being repainted for the big event. You can expect to see different thematic floats and costumes for the dolled-up entertainers to ride on. There will be an immense crowd of hearty partyers, drinkers, and general all around mayhem that some locals dread.

The festivities will begin on the 28th of February and will last up until March 5th, so go if you have a chance, with the upcoming changes there might not be another carnival like this one!