Santa Cruz Carnaval History, Underfoot And Overhead

Mon, February 11th, 2013 - By Colin

Quiet reflective moments are not normally associated with Santa Cruz Carnaval but if you find one of these rare interludes you could always delve into the recent history of this great Tenerife tradition. Even regular visitors may not be aware of the Carnaval posters immortalized in tile form on the pavement by Parque Maritimo, and the Carnaval Museum in Parque Bulevar commercial centre.

 

Carnaval posters

 

With Carnaval being so ingrained in the life of Tenerife’s capital city it’s surprising that it was as recent as 1996 that the Mayor of Santa Cruz decided to create a walk of fame preserving the Carnaval poster images from 1962 onwards. There are 36 paving stones, each consisting of 20 tiles. Other regional celebrations in Los Cristianos, Adeje, and Los Gigantes all produce a poster with the year’s theme vaguely in mind but Santa Cruz has always unveiled theirs first amid a flurry of excitement.

 

Carnaval posters

 

Artistry is not so important as capturing the spirit of Carnaval, that’s why some look like they were drawn by people who had started early on the celebration juice. History has stepped over the tiles in the form of a temporary stage surrounded by nose bleed inducing steeped seating used to house the showpiece events like the election of the Carnaval Queen but now many events take place across the road in the Recinto Ferial exhibition centre.

 

Carnaval costumes

 

Up the other end of the city just inland from Plaza de España, Parque Bulevar last year became home to modern costumes of queens, princesses, monsters and clowns in bright Carnaval colours. Spread over three levels they lurk outside shops, lean over the escalators and even hang from the ceiling. Small display cases show off miniature models and accessories, and giant photos of smiling contestants wrap around shop fronts.

 

Carnaval costumes

 

Seeing the creations close up gives an insight into the hard work and dedication that goes into making the costumes, no wonder the feathers, sequins and iron frameworks start taking shape before the previous year’s hangovers have cleared. Regular shoppers have become almost immune to the explosion of colour but children always see the magic just waiting to be brought to life. As this is the first year of the museum it will be interesting to see if they are all changed after Carnaval 2013 or whether they will have to budge up to let a few new faces take their bow.

Carnaval costumes

Parque Bulevar is open daily from 10am to 9pm and there is no charge to enjoy the floor show.

Posted : Monday, February 11th, 2013 at 9:21 am
Category : festivals & carnivals
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