Sunshine and Crowds at the 2012 Santa Cruz Carnival Closing Parade

The Tenerife weather Gods smiled upon Santa Cruz Carnaval 2012 once again as the Tuesday Coso parade marked the beginning of the end of carnival. Blue skies and warm sun helped to take the edge of the cool breeze for the 150,000 or so people who lined the Avenida Marítima in Tenerife’s capital yesterday to witness the closing parade.

Having found our way to the Opening Parade on Friday night barred by the closure of Las Ramblas, we were taking no chances yesterday as we headed into Santa Cruz for the Coso Apoteosis. Parking the car at the bus station just after 3pm, we set off walking amongst the Smurfs, sexy policewomen, gangsters, princesses and assorted creatures of the night who were braving sunlight and a nippy breeze to get to food stalls and the fairground before the parade began.

Jacket potato, churros and hot dog stalls were doing a brisk business and getting our nostrils twitching as we made our way along the Avenida following the file of 8000 chairs placed ring-side for the thousands of visiting tourists arriving in the city by the coach load. With just under an hour until the start of the parade, many of the chairs along the Auditorium end of the Avenida Marítima were still vacant but the further we walked towards Plaza España, the fewer empty seats there were.

By 3.30pm the city was buzzing with crowds. The restaurants and bars lining Avenida de Anaga and Avenida Francisco la Roche were teeming with diners, plates of calamari, tapas, paella and fresh bocadillos doing nothing to temper the rising hunger caused by being in a city that smelled like one, vast kitchen in the throes of preparing a banquet. Progress along the pavement was a slow and stilted affair with the way being barred by groups of chatting friends, little dogs on leads, Christopher Columbus and a posse of baby carriages.

With time slipping away and crowds growing thicker by the second we finally found a standing place in front of some very whiffy bins where we could get an unbroken view of the action and waited for the parade to begin. Almost on the stroke of 4pm the first float set off to the applause and seat dancing of the audience around us and the usual arrival of late comers elbowing their way in front of us until I found myself almost pinned to the smelly bin and straining to see the action. Such is carnival.

Floats, Murgas, dancing troupes and costumed characters passed by, their faces and legs betraying the fatigue they were feeling after the biggest street party of carnival the night before, but still their smiles were never far from the surface when the camera pointed their way. Carmen González wore her costume ‘Imperio’ with all the grace and style of, well a Carnaval Queen as she passed by quite early on in the proceedings to the tumultuous applause of onlookers.

At 8pm when the last of the parade stragglers had made their way past the crowds, the Santa Cruz sky exploded into a spectacular fireworks display and the city was able to get on with the serious business of clearing away chairs for the nightly street parties to begin.

The city of Santa Cruz has a very different feel to it on Carnival Tuesdays. Streets which normally throng with city dwellers, office workers and those on port business with intermittent scatterings of cruise passengers and day trippers, are transformed into Tenerife’s largest tourist destination for the day. The seats which line the parade route are welcomed by visitors for whom the more than three hours of passing parade would otherwise constitute an endurance trail but there’s no doubt they also remove some of the spontaneity and joie de vivre of the Opening Parade. Add to that the fatigue of those involved in the parade following the excesses of the night before and it’s a quieter affair altogether.

But for all of that, the Coso Apoteosis (closing parade) of Santa Cruz carnival is a great day out for anyone visiting Tenerife during carnival. It’s a spectacular, three hour plus show for the price of a €2.50 front row seat and it does give just a little taste of the colour and glamour of a Tenerife carnival.

The party in Santa Cruz will continue with the Burial of the Sardine and nightly street parties until Sunday 26th February before the costume drama is finally packed away for another year.

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The Carnival is Over, Tenerife’s Crazy Week of Fun in Pictures

It was loud; it was brash; it was colourful, it was crazy and it was even a bit wet. But most of all Carnival on Tenerife was a lot of fun and Tenerife Magazine was in the thick of the action to experience the best bits of Tenerife’s most outrageous week-long party.

First there were the queens. Naomi Cabrera Pulido was crowned carnival queen in Santa Cruz (photo courtesy of Turismo de Tenerife)…

…And Esther Yanes García, the girl with the smile that could melt a creme egg, was crowned carnival queen in Puerto de la Cruz.

Then the Ministry of Sound rocked the capital and over 100,000 people took to the streets to dance the night away at carnival street parties (this was only one street)…

…and this group of larger than life Scots threatened to drink all the beer”¦and eat all the pies.

Talking of food, it’s no wonder those guys got to be so big when faced with stalls like this in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz.

The surreal Burial of the Sardine with its wailing widows has been outdone in the sheer spectacle stakes in recent years by the most outrageous event of any carnival celebrations on Tenerife ““ the Mascarita Ponte Tacón (High Heels Marathon). 50,000+ turn up for this one. This is one of the few photos fit for family viewing.

The Gran Coso Apoteosis (closing parade) in Santa Cruz had its fervour dampened by rain, but it’s counterpart in Puerto de la Cruz a few days later enjoyed warm sunshine, so no soggy feathers for the dancers this time”¦

“¦and much more in line with what “˜tourists’ like these two expect when they come to Tenerife.

And finally the whole thing was rounded off with some more wild and wonderful street parties, but there’s no picture for these”¦this time the camera stayed in the bag and the notebook remained in the pocket so that we could do what everyone else was doing ““ let our hair down and enjoy the last big carnival bash of 2011.

Carnival in the north of Tenerife is over, but carnival continues in Los Gigantes and Los Cristianos during the second half of March.

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Carnival Dates in Tenerife 2011

Carnival on Tenerife hit top gear at the weekend. Although the opening round of parties are over, some of the most popular carnival events are still to come.

There are loads of carnival events on Tenerife to look out for over the next few weeks. So anyone with a yen to slip into the fishnets and little black number (men only on this occasion), really vamp it up at an unforgettable open air party or even simply enjoy the spectacle of a colourful carnival parade should take a note of the dates in our Carnival Agenda.

Carnival on Tenerife, Güímar

Güímar has the best carnival poster on Tenerife this year and enough to warrant a visit the town of the mysterious pyramids for their celebrations.

Main Dates: 11th to 26th March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, La Laguna

Not a lot of tourists seek out this carnaval, or many fiestas in the former capital city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna even though they hold some of the biggest parties there.

Main Dates: Between 5th and 12th March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, La Orotava

With a theme of the music from the 70s and 80s La Orotava could be a hippy and new romantic haven during carnival.

Main Dates: From 5th to 12th March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, Los Cristianos

Despite the carnival poster howler, the circus themed Los Cristianos carnival should be a lot of fun.

Main Dates: 25th to 28th March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, Los Gigantes

One of the best carnivals in south Tenerife, Los Gigantes has a Latino theme this year.

Main Dates: 13th to 21st March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz

Not quite as big as Santa Cruz, but carnival in El Puerto involves tens of thousands of people and rocking street parties.

Main Dates: Between 3rd and 12th March. More Information Here

Carnival in Santa Cruz

The biggest, brashest and most exuberant celebrations are held in Tenerife’s capital city, Santa Cruz.

Main Dates: Carnival really hits its stride in Santa Cruz between 2nd and 13th March. More Information Here

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Carnival on Tenerife, La Orotava

With a theme of the music from the 70s and 80s La Orotava could be a hippy and new romantic haven during carnival.

Main Dates: From 5th to 12th March

Main Events
Carnaval Parade: The Coso Apoteosis takes place on Tuesday 8th March followed by a 70s and 80s inspired disco at 7.30pm
Time: 4.30pm
Location: From Cruz del Teide to Plaza la Paz

Burial of the Sardine (in La Orotava it’s called Quema de Crispín): Wednesday 9th March
Time: 9pm
Location: Calle From the football stadium to Plaza de la Constitución.

Closing Carnival Party: The Baile de la Piñata on Saturday 12th March is the time to wear your best carnival costume in La Orotava
Time: 11pm
Location: Plaza de San Juan Bautista

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Carnival on Tenerife, Los Gigantes

One of the best carnivals in south Tenerife, Los Gigantes has a Latino theme this year.

Main Dates: 13th to 21st March

Main Events
Fiesta Blanca Latina: Batukada performances and Latino bands on Sunday 13th March
Time: From Midday
Location: Plaza Buganvilla

Election of the Carnaval Queen and Gala: Thursday 17th March
Time: 9pm
Location: Plaza Buganvilla

Children’s Parade and Grand Ball: Saturday 19th March
Time: From 5pm
Location: Plaza Buganvilla

Closing Parade: Coso Apoteosis followed by masked ball takes place on Sunday 20th March
Time: From 5pm
Location: From La Pescadora roundabout to Plaza Buganvilla.

Burial of the Sardine followed by Widows’ Ball: Monday 21st March
Time: 9pm
Location: From the start of the village to the Hotel Los Gigantes.

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Carnival on Tenerife, Los Cristianos

Despite the carnival poster howler, the circus themed Los Cristianos carnival should be a lot of fun.

Main Dates: 25th to 28tht March

Main Events
Election of the Carnaval Queen: Friday 25th March
Time: 9pm
Location: Recinto Ferial

Parade and Grand Ball: Saturday 26th March
Time: From Parade 5.30pm, Carnival Ball at 11pm
Location: Parade from Cultural Centre, dance at the Recinto Ferial

Closing Parade: Coso Apoteosis followed by carnival dance on Sunday 27th March
Time: From 5pm
Location: From Paloma Beach Aptmts to the Recinto Ferial.

Burial of the Sardine followed by Widows’ Ball: Monday 21st March
Time: 8pm
Location: From Cultural Centre to Playa de Los Cristianos. The widows’ ball is at the Recinto Ferial

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Carnival on Tenerife, La Laguna

Not a lot of tourists seek out this carnaval, or many fiestas in the former capital city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna even though they hold some of the biggest parties there.

Main Dates: Between 5th and 12th March

Main Events

Election of the Carnaval Queen and Carnaval Gala: Sunday 6th March
Time: 8pm
Location: Plaza Mayor de La Verdellada

Opening Parade: Monday 7th March
Time: 5pm
Location: Calle Padre Herrera, Calle Molinos de Agua, Calle Obispo Pérez Cáceres, Calle El Puente, Calle Vicente Burgo Oraá, Casa del barco, Avenida La Salle, Francisco Afonso Carrillo and Plaza Mayor de La Verdellada

Burial of the Sardine: Saturday 12th March
Time: 8pm
Location: Calle Padre Herrera, Calle Molinos de Agua, Calle Obispo Pérez Cáceres, Calle El Puente, Calle Vicente Burgo Oraá, Casa del barco, Avenida La Salle, Francisco Afonso Carrillo and Plaza Mayor de La Verdellada

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Carnival on Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz

Not as big as Santa Cruz, but carnival in El Puerto still involves tens of thousands of people and rocking street parties.

Main Dates: Between 3rd and 12th March

Main Events
Election of the Carnaval Queen: Thursday 3nd March
Time: 9pm
Location: Plaza Europa

Burial of the Sardine: Wednesday 9th March
Time: 9pm
Location: From Avenida Colón through the town to the harbour.

High Heels Marathon: One of the unique highlights of Puerto’s carnival takes place on Friday 11th March
Time: 4pm
Location: Avenida de Francisco La Roche y Marítima

Closing Parade: Coso Apoteosis takes place on Saturday 12th March
Time: 4pm
Location: From Avenida Colón to Plaza del Charco and then Calle San Felipe.

There are street parties every night from 5th to 12th (except Thursday 10th) in Plaza Charco, Calle Perdomo and at Casa Aduana.

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Carnival on Tenerife, Güímar

Surely the best carnival poster on Tenerife and enough to warrant a visit the town of the mysterious pyramids for their celebrations.

Main Dates: 11th to 26th March

Main Events
Las Burras de Güímar: Friday 11th March sees the town’s unique battle between shape-changing witches, demons and angels followed by the cremation of the sardine and a fancy dress ball.
Time: 9pm
Location: Plaza de San Pedro

Drag Gala followed by Disco: Saturday 26th March
Time: 9m
Location: El Puertito

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Carnival Dates in Santa Cruz 2011

The biggest, brashest and most exuberant celebrations are held in Tenerife’s capital city, Santa Cruz.

Main Dates: Carnival really hits its stride in Santa Cruz between 2nd and 13th March.

Main Events
Election of the Carnaval Queen: Wednesday 2nd March
Time: 9.30pm
Location: Recinto Ferial

Opening Parade: Friday 4th
Time: 7pm
Location: Avenida Asuncionistas, Ramón y Cajal, Galcerán, Plaza Weyler, Méndez Núñez, Pilar, Villalba Hervás, La Marina, Avenida de Francisco La Roche

Closing Parade: Coso Apoteosis takes place on Tuesday 8th March
Time: 4pm
Location: Avenida de Francisco La Roche y Marítima

Burial of the Sardine: Wednesday 9th March
Time: 9pm
Location: Calle Juan Pablo II, Méndez Núñez, Pilar, Villalba Hervás, La Marina finalizando and Avenida Francisco La Roche

There are street parties every night from 4th to 12th (except Thursday 10th) in Plaza Europa, Plaza Candelaria and on some nights Plaza Principe.

The big event to look out for this year is the Ministry of Sound concert in Plaza Europa from 11pm to 6am on Saturday 5th March

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