2023 Carnival in Mazatlán, Mexico | MazatlanVisit.com

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2023 Carnival in Mazatlán

Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

Carnival is the biggest annual event of the year in Mazatlán.  It is more like a festival and consists of many events including huge parades, large concerts, and fireworks!

Normally, hundreds of thousands of people come out to watch the events.  It is expected that the large crowds will return in 2023.  In 2022, it was more subdued due to a 70% capacity restriction.

'Carnival' is the English name for it.  In Mazatlán, it is spelled the Spanish/Portugese way: 'Carnaval'.  We will use the english spelling on this page.

Carnaval is a christian tradition which celebrates the short period before Lent begins.

Carnival is basically the same as Mardi Gras, but the Mazatlán version of it, i.e. think very artistic and lots of Pacifico beer and Partying!  The Carnival in Mazatlán is reported to be the 3rd largest in the world after Rio De Janeiro and New Orleans.

The first Carnival in Mazatlán was in 1898 and it has been an annual event since, except for a few years for various reasons.

Carnival runs from a Thursday to Tuesday(Mardi Gras Day or Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday).  This Tuesday is significant in the Catholic religion because it is the last day of feasting before Lent begins on the Wednesday(Ash Wednesday).  Lent is a period of 40 days(not counting Sundays) of fasting prior to Easter.  The tradition now is for Lent is to choose to give up something during this period or volunteer rather than actually fasting.

Carnival occurs over 6 days and includes many events.  There are 2 big parades down the Malecon, big coronation shows at the Teodoro Mariscal Baseball Stadium, a huge fireworks show, and a big party at Olas Altas.  Since it is Mazatlán, there is a lot of Pacifico beer flowing!  

Below is a list of the Carnival Events and provide details that will allow you to decide whether to go to them or not.

There are many shows and events that normally take place as part of Carnival:

Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

2023 Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

The 2023 Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico runs from February 16 to February 21, 2023.

The theme of the 2023 Carnival in Mazatlán is: Dejavu, Dreams of a Carnival (Dejavú, Sueños de un Carnaval).

2023 is the 125th anniversary of the first Carnival in Mazatlán in 1898!

Usually a few weeks before Carnival, about 10 giant multi-coloured carnival figurines (called 'Monigotes') go up on the Malecon.  These figurines are based on the theme of the current year's carnival.

Closer to Carnival time...Tickets for the paid 2023 Carnival events can be purchased starting from late January or early February 2023 at:

  • Gran Plaza Mall: 11am to 1pm, 2pm to 8pm
  • Angela Peralta Theatre box office: 8am to 2pm, 4pm to 7pm
  • City Hall(plaza republica): 9am to 3pm, 5pm to 7pm
  • Cultura Mazatlan offices: 9am to 3pm, 5pm to 7pm

Monigotes (Puppets)

Mazatlán Carnival monigote

A few weeks before Carnival starts, giant multi-coloured carnival figurines (called 'Monigotes', i.e. puppets) go up around town on the Malecon and in the Plaza Machado.  These figurines are based on the theme of the current year's carnival.

Evening of the Arts

The Evening of the Arts is a cultural performance that usually features ballet, music, and singing with a orchestra.  It shows off the fantastic culture of Mazatlan.

This event normally occurs the week before Carnival, but is related to the Carnival.

For 2022, the Evening of the Arts will take place on February 19, 2022 at the Angela Peralta Theatre

This event is mainly for adults, but children are welcome.

Carnival Fair

Carnival Fair in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

Carnival Fair in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

There is usually a Carnival Fair which takes place at the same time as Carnival with kids rides and food stalls, etc.

For 2023, the Carnival Fair is supposed to open on February 10, 2023.  It will be located at the Sam's Club parking lot off of Rafael Buelna.  It will have over 40 carnival rides!

The 2022 Carnival Fair was located Quirino Ordaz Coppel Avenue which is next to Central Park.

The Carnival Fair is mainly for families with children.

Street Party

Carnival Street Party in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

Carnival Street Party in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

During Carnival, there is a huge street party that takes place at Olas Altas.  There are many stages with bands playing.  There is a lot of Pacifico beer being sold and drunk!  So, basically, it is a big street party!

The Street party has not yet been announced for 2023.

The 2022 Street Party happened on the front couple of streets at Olas Altas and along Paseo Claussen.

The street party is open to everyone, but is recommended only for adults later in the evening as there is a lot of drinking happening.

Bad Mood Riddance

Bad Mood riddance at Mazatlán Carnival

Bad Mood Riddance (Quema del Mal Humor) is an event where a giant puppet which is an effigy of a famous person is loaded with fireworks and set affire in an effort to get rid of bad feelings.

For 2019, a giant puppet representing Peña Nieto, the former president of Mexico was burned!

This event used to take place in Olas Altas near the Deer (El Venadito) monument, however for 2023 it will take place on the Malecon (near Aquiles Serdan?).

Naval Combat Fireworks

Naval Fireworks at Mazatlán Carnival

The Naval Combat Fireworks (Combate Naval) is one of the most popular annual events during Carnival in Mazatlán.  It is a huge choreographed fireworks display.  In 2020, there were were lots of syncronized drones which added a new element to the show by spelling out words and showing various shapes.

This event will take place on the Saturday of Carnival.  In 2023, this event returns to Olas Altas.

The historical implication of this event is that in 1864, the French naval ship Cordeliere tried to invade Mazatlán.  The residents of Mazatlán fought back and held off the attack.  This event is meant to commemorate this victory in battle!

This is a family friendly event and is normally free.

Watch the entire 2022 Naval Combat Fireworks: Here

Inaugural (Sunday) Carnival Parade

parade during Mazatlán Carnival

The Inaugural Parade (Primer Desfile de Carnival) is the first of the two big parades with huge floats along the Malecon.  This parade takes place on the Sunday of Carnival.

This parade normally starts at 5pm and goes along the Avenida Del Mar from the Fishermen's Monument to Punto Valentino.  The parade usually goes along the southside lane of the Malecon.  The northbound lane is usually closed for spectators.

The Malecon fills with about half a million people to watch the parade go by.  In 2020 there were 33 floats and 28 other groups.

For days before, people set up chairs to rent and try to reserve the best spots for viewing the parade.  The city has been trying to crack down on this, but with limited success! &bnsp;The city seems to be allowing people that show up with a few chairs and umbrellas to set up for a family, but not those that show up with hundreds of chairs.

Watch the entire 2022 Inaugural Carnival Parade: Here

This is a family friendly event and is normally free.  However, some people pay to use chairs, or sit in restaurants or oven pay for hotel rooms overlooking the parade.

Second (Tuesday) Carnival Parade

parade during Mazatlán Carnival

The Second Carnival Parade (Segundo Desfile de Carnival) is the second of the two big parades with huge floats along the Malecon.  This parade takes place on the Tuesday of Carnival.

This parade usually goes along the Avenida Del Mar from Avenida de lo Deportes (the street that the Mazatlán Aquarium is on) to Olas Altas.  The parade usually goes along the southside lane of the Malecon.  The northbound lane is also closed for spectators.

Usually, hundreds of thousands of people come out to watch this parade!

This is a family friendly event and is normally free.  However, some people pay to use chairs, or sit in restaurants or oven pay for hotel rooms overlooking the parade.

When is the 2023 Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico?

The dates for 2023 Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico are February 16 to February 21, 2023.

When are the 2023 Carnival Events in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico?

The dates for the 2023 Carnival events are:

  • Inauguration of the Carnival: February 10, 2023 7pm, Sam's Club Parking Lot - free
  • Evening of the Arts: February 11, 2023 8pm, Angela Peralta Theatre - Amor Pagano
  • King of Joy Coronation: February 16, 2023 7pm, Teodoro Mariscal Stadium - featured performer is Eden Muñoz
  • Queen of the Floral Games Coronation: February 17, 2023, 8:30pm, Teodoro Mariscal Stadium - featured performers are Rock Sinfonico and Gloria Gaynor
  • Carnival Queen Coronation: February 18, 2023, 6:30pm, Teodoro Mariscal Stadium -featured performer is Banda MS
  • Naval Combat Fireworks: February 18, 2023, 11pm - Avenida Del Mar (Malecon)
  • Bad Mood Riddance: February 18, 2023, 8:30pm - 11pm - Pier(Malecon)
  • Inaugural Carnival Parade: February 19, 2023, 5pm, Malecon
  • Children's Fantasy Ball: February 20, 2023, 10am - Salon Spectacular on Avenida Camaron Sabalo near Hotel Quijote Inn
  • Great performance on the Monday of Carnival: February ???, 2023
  • Tuesday of Carnival show: February ???, 2023
  • Children's Queen Coronation: February 20, 2023, 6:30pm, Teodoro Mariscal Stadium - featured performers are Jesse and Joy
  • Monday of Carnival concert: February ???, 2023, 11pm, Stage next to Deer monument("El Venadito") at Olas Altas - featured performer is tbd
  • Second Carnival Parade: February 21, 2023 4pm Malecon

When is the theme of the 2023 Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico?

The theme for the 2023 Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico is: Dejavu, Dreams of a Carnival (Dejavú, Sueños de un Carnaval).

Mazatlán Carnival Photos

Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

Previous Mazatlan Carnival Themes and Dates

  • 2022: Lanao, the journey continues: February 24 to March 1, 2022
  • 2021: Lanao, a journey through time: Cancelled due to Covid pandemic
  • 2020: Somos America -Pasion, Alegria y Esperanza (We are America - Pasion, Joy, and Hope): February 20-25, 2020
  • 2019: Equinoccio-El Renacer de Los Sentidos (Equinox-the rebirth of the senses): February 28, 2019 to March 5, 2019.
  • 2018: Patasalada: El Circo de Los Talentos (The Circus of the Talented): February 8, 2018 to February 13, 2018
  • 2017: Alebrijes and Dragons : February 23, 2017 to February 28, 2017
  • 2016: Mazatlantida: La alegoria que emergio de las olas (The allegory that emerged from the waves) : February 4 to February 9, 2016
  • 2015: Los sueños de Momo (The dreams of Momo) : February 12, 2015 to February 17, 2015
  • 2014: Litoralia: La Piel del Mar (Litoral: The Skin of the Sea) : February 27 to March 4, 2014
  • 2013: La Linterna Magica (Magic Lantern) : February 7 to 12, 2013
  • 2012: La Fiesta de los Imperios (The party of the Imperials) : February 16 to 21, 2012
  • 2011: El Retorno de las Musas (The Return of the Muses) : March 3, 2011 to March 8, 2011
  • 2010: Con Fervor Patrio! (With Patriotic Fervor!) : February 11, 2010 to February 16, 2010
  • 2009: Fantasa Universa" (Universal Fantasy) : February 19, 2009 to February 24, 2009
  • 1998: 100th Anniversary: El Primer Siglo (The First Century)

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