The Carnival return to the streets of Cartagenaand it does so back to normal, without sanitary restrictions and loaded with novelties, such as the installation of a large tent in Plaza Mayor that will host different events and that it will have bars so that the people of Cartagena “can have a beer”, according to the president of the Carnival Federation, Eduardo Pignatelli.
Last year, due to the incidence of coronavirus, had to be suspended and postponed to June. This 2023, resuming the usual date, is celebrated from February 10 to 21almost two weeks in the about 4,000 carnival-goers from 50 groupsbetween child and adult troupes, choreographic groups and chirigotas, will give life to the streets of the municipality.
One of the great novelties will take place at the kick-off of the party, the next Friday, February 10, with the proclamation. This will be moved to the center of the city, specifically to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The town crier will be Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, alias ‘The Seville’, leader of Mojinos Escozíos, who will give his speech from the balcony of the Palacio Consistorial. Starting at 8:00 p.m., several batucadas will pass through Santa Florentina street, Carmen street and Sagasta street, until they meet at the Icue, from where they will begin their march towards the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The event will culminate with a Los Happy’s concert.
The Saturday the 11th the gala for the election of the queens will be held, which this year is separated from the proclamation and, as usual, will take place in the Municipal Pavilion. The children’s gala will take place at 5:00 p.m., with six candidates. At 10:00 p.m. it will be the turn of the adult section, which will have 13 candidates. Tickets are already on sale and can be purchased at the English Court.
On Sunday February 12 will be held the Great Regional Contest of Choreographic Groups in the Municipal Pavilion, in which a total of 12 groups will participate: four in the children’s modality, at 12:00 p.m., and eight adults that will be divided into a pass at 4:00 p.m. and another at 9:00 p.m.. Tickets are already available on sale at the English Court.
The drag will arrive at the Carnival of the port city on Monday, February 13 with the VIII National Drag Queen Contest and with more participants than ever. A total of 14 candidates, from Cartagena, Madrid, Alicante, Murcia and Malaga. The event will begin at 9:00 p.m. in the Municipal Pavilion. The guest artist for the event will be the Cuban singer and presenter of the children’s program on Spanish Television Los Lunnis, Lucrecia.
On Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15, the comparsas will parade from 7:00 p.m. through the Historic Center, “encouraging and calling Cartagena to enjoy these festivities.” The first semifinal of the National Chirigotas Contest will also take place on the 15that 9:00 p.m., in the El Batel auditorium. Eight chirigotas, from Cartagena, Almería, Murcia and Roquetas, will fight to take first place. The Thursday 16, at 9:00 p.m., the second semifinal will be held. Tickets can be purchased at El Batel and, as a novelty, this year an 18-euro voucher has been created to gain access to the two semifinals.
The carnival quarry, made up of 1,500 schoolchildren, will meet on Friday the 17th in the school parade, in which they will wear costumes made by themselves. This will begin at 11:00 in the morning and will run through the streets of the center. That same day, at 5:00 p.m., it will be the turn of the adults, with the election of queen and king. At 8:00 p.m. the final of the chirigotas contest will be held, in a first pass, and at 11:30 p.m.in a second pass, both in El Batel.
For the weekend, February 18 and 19, the Carnival will take over the city center with the installation of a large tent in the Plaza Mayor, next to the Port. At 12:00 noon of Saturday 18 you can enjoy the performance of the chirigotas make it to the final. The Great Carnival Paradein which some 4,000 carnival-goers from the different troupes of Cartagena will participate, to which 12 from outside the municipality will be added, will also take place on this day, from 6:00 p.m.. The itinerary will be different to that of other years: it will start from the Alameda de San Antón and will pass through Plaza de España, Puertas de Murcia, Plaza San Sebastián and, as a novelty, it will parade this year, extending the route, through the cAlle del Aire, Calle del Cañón, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Plaza de Héroes de Cavite, to culminate in Plaza Mayor. From 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. there will be a 90s music concert.
The Sunday 19, at 12:00, the Children’s Carnival It will gather more than 800 children also in Plaza Mayor, while in the Icue the chirigotas will be again. On Monday 20, at the same location, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a parade of the choreographic groups, which at 7:00 p.m. will perform in the tent.
The final touch will be put by the dDon Carnal’s parade, on Tuesday, February 21, which this year changes its itineraryor: it will depart from Plaza Juan XXIII at 7:00 p.m., and will pass through Calle Santa Florentina, Calle del Carmen, Calle San Roque, Sagasta, Puertas de Murcia, Plaza San Sebastián, Plaza del Ayuntamiento and Plaza Mayor. At 9:00 p.m., in the tent, the awards ceremony and tasting of Doña Cuaresma’s ‘tetillas’ and Don Carnal’s ‘balls’ will take place, as well as the burning of the latter, with a new falla, of five meters high, “with a much more colorful design,” said Pignatelli.
Cartagena will live its Carnival in a big tent in Plaza Mayor