The Best of Tenerife Carnival 2011

Sat, February 12th, 2011 - By Andrea Montgomery

If you’re planning on visiting Tenerife in the month of March 2011, there’s every likelihood that Carnaval (Spanish spelling) will be happening somewhere on the island. For those who enjoy a good spectacle, it’s a golden opportunity to take a look at one of the biggest celebrations of carnival in Europe.

The most popular spectator event is invariably the gran coso apoteosis (closing parade), the largest of which is held in the capital city of Santa Cruz on the 8th March 2011.
But along the coast in the pretty resort town of Puerto de la Cruz is one of Carnaval’s most hilarious events which attracts thousands of visitors from right across Tenerife, it’s called ‘Mascarita Ponte Tacon‘ – the Men’s High Heels Marathon.

Put succinctly, the High Heels Marathon involves some 200 or more men dressed in outrageous costumes, including heels that make the threat of succumbing to altitude as great a possibility as that of succumbing to the copious amounts of beer consumed during the event, negotiating cobbled streets and various obstacles with pantomime difficulty.
The fact that this is nominally a race is completely irrelevant to most of the contestants who preen, pose and perform to the audience as if a season’s contract at Blackpool Pleasure Beach depended on it.

The event begins in Plaza Charco where heels are measured for minimum height before the glamorous drag queen host introduces every contestant and calls them up onto the stage for a bow.

For me, this is the best part of the High Heels Marathon, mainly because I get to see all the contestants without having to stand in the street for endless hours waiting for the race even to begin, let alone for every participant to ham it up the length of the course. It can often be midnight and beyond before all the contestants make it back to Plaza Charco for the prize giving. But also because of the rib tickling value of watching participants negotiate the steps up to the stage, and down again.
All contestants in the race are treated to free beer which is liberally dispensed. As the registration and introduction stage can take anything up to two hours, the further down the list the participants are, the more oiled their heels are when it comes time to climb those steps. I’ve seen some truly hilarious and scary moments including injuries such as turned ankles and worse – broken nails.

The whole event is big, brash and bizarre and a great opportunity to get some unique photos of the costumes and antics on display. Just don’t bring your politically correct head with you or you’ll be tut tutting the entire evening. This is Carnaval, suspend all correct behaviour and let yourself be swept away on the tide of irreverent fun.

Mascarita Ponte Tacon takes place this year on March 11th 2011 with registration in Plaza Charco beginning around 9pm.

Posted : Saturday, February 12th, 2011 at 10:22 am
Category : festivals & carnivals
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One Response to “The Best of Tenerife Carnival 2011”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jack & Andy, Andrea Montgomery. Andrea Montgomery said: Men in high heels – The best of Tenerife Carnaval 2011: http://bit.ly/fMhVD5 @sunshine_co_uk […]

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