She won the sceptre with its Fantasy “White sand desert”.
Cecilia Navarro, won the title of the Queen of the Carnival of Tenerife 2016 last night. The suit was created by designer Daniel Pages.
Gala Election of the Carnival Queen was devoted to the theme chosen this year, – the 80’s. One of the highlights of the act was the interpretation of different songs from the golden decade of pop music by members of the carnival groups of Tenerife.
Following the coronation of the Gala Queen yesterday, the party hits the streets tomorrow, Friday the 5th of February. After the tour, the festival begins in the streets of the city, with the music in different scenarios across the centre of the capital and the local bars, full of dressed up people ready to have a wonderful time to the sound of the music.
Other essential dates are first Carnival Day (Sunday, February 7), the Gran Coso Apotheosis (Tuesday, 9), the Burial of the Sardine (Wednesday 10), and the second Carnival Day (Saturday 13).
Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.
Visitors to Tenerife’s Tourist Offices Increase 50% in 3 Years
Tenerife’s Tourist Board should be cock-a-hoop with statistics that reveal that 1,021, 228 people visited a Tenerife tourist office in 2011; 50% more than in 2008 and a 5.6% increase on 2010.
What’s interesting is the breakdown of statistics relating to which offices dealt with the most queries for information about the island.
Costa Adeje (83,978) and Playa de las Américas/Los Cristianos (77,479) might receive the lion’s share of tourists to Tenerife but both had fewer visitors to their tourist offices than La Laguna which had the 2nd highest amount of visitors with 86,825. Way out on top with 207,970 visitors was Puerto de la Cruz.
Clean up Santa Cruz with a bit of Graffiti
As one of ten measures designed to give Tenerife’s capital a bit of a springtime spruce up, Santa Cruz council are authorising an area of the city to be given over to free public expression which basically means it can be used for advertising, information posters and as a canvas for graffiti artists. Anyone who’s seen the hoardings opposite the Iglesia de la Concepción will be aware that Santa Cruz boasts some talented street artists and a few more examples of imaginative urban art should add more colour to the city’s streets and maybe even deter wannabe Banksy’s from spraying indiscriminately elsewhere in the capital.
Superheroes in Tenerife
Considering it was carnival week in Tenerife, a touch of the bizarre was quite appropriate. A recent edition of the Marvel comic X-Men Legacy set in Punta Brava in Puerto de la Cruz provided a suitable slice of surrealism. The issue began with a speech bubble proclaiming “punta Brava, Tenerife, 20:48′ and an image of an X-Men superhero standing looking bemused above a lot of unconscious bodies on the streets of Punta Brava. If the X-Man had done any research before coming to Tenerife, he would have known it was probably just the morning after a carnival street party.
Winter training in Tenerife ““ good for a tan, but not a result.
First Newcastle discovered that a winter training break in Tenerife didn’t quite recharge the batteries as planned after they were dumped out of the FA Cup on their return whilst the tabloids were full of accusations about the nature of the ‘training’ that took place. Next up were Swansea who took advantage of our perfect winter climate whilst Stoke, their first opponents after their return from Tenerife, played Valencia… twice. The result? Stoke 2 Swansea 0. Tenerife is perfect as a winter training venue for footballers. But let’s hope whichever football team is next up does the island a favour by actually winning when they return from ‘re-charging their batteries”.
And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Anyone who had a moan about ‘tourists” at carnival.
A couple of Spanish newspaper reports and subsequent comments had a bit of a dig at the amount of tourists at the carnival closing parade in Santa Cruz. Mostly it was in relation to some of the city’s residents being unable to find seats or places which afforded them a good view of the parade. Santa Cruz carnival is promoted internationally. It brings in revenue to the city, and restaurants, bars and other businesses benefit greatly from the influx of visitors on the day of the closing parade especially. There are no special privileges for tourists visiting the city. As far as finding a good spot or a seat is concerned, it’s a level playing field for everyone and residents do not have an automatic right to a spot, whatever some may think. If you turn up late, you might miss out on a prime view.
It’s good to see visitors to the island making the effort to enjoy important traditions and anyway, carnival events last for a month in Santa Cruz; the main events for over a week. Most tourists only visit on one day ““ the closing parade. Thankfully the complainers represented a tiny minority and the majority of the people of Santa Cruz welcome the interest and participation of visitors.
I”M standing in the hot sun of a Santa Cruz afternoon, looking over at the face of Carmen González, newly crowned Carnival Queen 2012, who’s chatting to Mayor of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez (below, left), and Councillor for Fiestas, Fernando Ballesteros (below, right) in the garden of the Hotel Mencey. After the photo calls come the interviews and Carmen smiles through endless takes with a TV camera pointed at her and a microphone placed before her. Without the ornate make-up of last night’s Gala Election, the beautiful face of the 18 year old model betrays her tender years. But she’s beginning to look pale and a little uncomfortable.
“Carmen is feeling a little dizzy,” says her agent as she links Carmen’s arm and helps her to walk towards the shade of the hotel. “She’s going to get something to eat and then she’ll be back for your interview.”
The fact that Carmen is tired comes as no surprise to me. When I left the Gala Election at the Recinto Ferial at 1.40am today, Carmen was still on stage, in her full make-up and costume, mobbed by TV cameras and flash bulbs.
Looking refreshed and more relaxed when she returns, I ask Carmen what time she finally got to bed this morning.
“At 3am,” she tells me. “But at 6am I had to get up because I had TV and radio interviews.” In fact, she hasn’t slept much at all in the last two days, she admits, nerves keeping her awake the night before the Gala Election too. I”M sympathetic to her lack of sleep but she shrugs it off. In the excitement of the last 48 hours, being tired is a small price to pay she assures me.
Tall and slender with straight, long dark hair and the sort of face any aspiring model would kill for, Carmen Gil González has a grace and ease of movement that comes with her profession. Still in her final year at school, Carmen is hoping to combine a successful career as a model with her studies. Modelling since the age of 13 years and turning professional at the age of 16 years, it’s an ambition that she’s managing to balance well at the moment.
When the judges gave their long awaited decision 13 or so hours ago and the name of Carmen Gil González rang out around the vast stadium as the 2012 Carnaval Queen, it was an emotional moment for Carmen and the tears flowed. I asked her if she had managed to come back down to Earth yet:
“I”M not quite back on Earth yet,” she laughs. “I”M still getting there!”
Carmen’s winning costume was ‘Imperio’, a stunning interpretation of the splendour of the Roman Empire, designed by Santi Castro (with Carmen, above) which combined elements of a chariot and centurion helmets in luxuriant feathers of the palest blue radiating out from a gold and silver chariot adorned with sapphire and diamond costume jewellery, lions and the Imperial eagle. Like a cross between Boadicea and Helen of Troy, Carmen rode her chariot from its epicentre, dressed in an elaborate gold and bejewelled headdress, some strategically placed jewels in gold braid, and very little else. Although the event was held indoors, I couldn’t help but wonder if she hadn’t been just a teeny bit, well, freezing.
“Yes!” she admits, her face animated by laughter. “At first when I put my costume on backstage I was really cold but once I had the full costume on I forgot about the cold, and the emotion took over,” she says. “I have bruising here and here.” Carmen points to her hips where the harness with which she pulled her costume sat. “But I felt neither cold nor pain, nothing!”
Weighing in at an incredible 300 kilos (over 47 stones), it seemed to me that the stage at the Recinto Ferial must have seemed like an awfully large space for a slight young girl to pull that weight around and the bruises would seem to confirm that fact. I ask Carmen how much of a struggle it had been.
“Yes, it’s a very big stage to pull a costume around,” she confirms. “Imperio is a big costume and I was worried about being able to pull the weight successfully around the stage. But on the night, with the emotion, the audience and the applause, it felt like no weight at all.”
The ability to “Wear’ a costume as if it weighed nothing at all is one of the most important aspects of being a candidate for Carnaval Queen and the girls who are chosen to represent the designer and the sponsors have to be able to move as if they are a part of the costume and to look happy and relaxed as they do so.
The spectacular show which surrounds the election of the carnival queen in which the 12 candidates are introduced to the audience and the panel of judges, is a cabaret of epic proportions spanning almost four hours. As candidate number one, Carmen was first to appear on stage. I ask her if that made for a very long night.
“Personally, I was glad to be the first onto the stage,” she tells me. “I didn’t have time to get too nervous, you know. It only felt like a long time waiting for the second time to go out because I had to wait through all the other candidates and the whole show. But I liked being first.”
As an only child in her home in La Laguna, Carmen is used to being first, and now that she has realised her dream to become Carnaval Queen, she has a busy year of engagements ahead of her, representing Santa Cruz de Tenerife in events and promotions both at home and abroad. I have no doubt that Carmen will be an excellent ambassador for Tenerife, she’s a delightful young woman who’s beauty goes deeper than her flawless surface and here at Tenerife Magazine we wish her the very best for her year ahead.
Not even a dodgy referee could crush the Carnaval spirit as CD Tenerife set the terraces dancing with a 1-0 win over Getafe B in Santa Cruz. Newly elected Carnaval Queen Carmen Gil was guest of honour, hopefully she won’t always expect six sendings off, two disallowed goals and a late penalty winner.
The game was a slow burner, maybe just as well as hangovers and lack of sleep had to be overcome by the party crowd of 9,424. Chechu should have opened the home scoring in the first minute but hit a post, setting the tone for a half of missed chances. Confidence was high after new coach Garcia Tebar had seen his charges win their first three games under his command. The referee was lost from the start, Getafe players were allowed to roll around at the slightest touch, even the widows at the sardine funeral would struggle to be so dramatic. As gentlemen clicked their high heels in frustration at the spoiling tactics of the visitors, Tenerife forward Kiko wasted free headers in front of goal.
Life in Segunda B has not been as easy as some thought Spain’s third tier would be but after two successive relegations expectations of recovery were high and coach Calderon paid the price just into the new year. The club brought in some new faces in the January window and new coach Tebar has encouraged free flowing play but the goals weren’t coming by half time.
Pop stars, superheroes, and cross-dressers were all a little frustrated at the break. Security staff tried to look menacing but it’s not easy when three hairy men in dresses are using glove puppets to fire sweets into the crowd from a very intimate launch zone.
Back at the game Getafe were starting to threaten. Tenerife brought on Aridane, one of the new forwards, and he put the ball in the net only to see it ruled offside. Then a hammer blow as midfielder Kitoko had to go off injured and with the subs used Tenerife were down to 10 men. Tarantino followed up a booking with a ill judged tackle and was also off ““ nine men.
Local hero Pablo Sicilia urged the crowd to raise the noise and they responded giving their all. Meanwhile anger at the ref from the benches brought red cards for both coaches and Tenerife’s back up goalie. The roar from the crowd swept Tenerife forward and a penalty with just two minutes left was crashed home by Loro amid wild scenes from the home fans.
There was more drama even as the sound of Chicharrero de Corazon echoed through the stadium. The ref added six injury minutes on. Getafe thought they had scored and when it was ruled out their complaints reduced them to nine men. The tension was unbearable as the last minute ticked away before the final whistle unleashed a cauldron of noise, even the men in high heels were dancing. The party has another week to run in Santa Cruz and this sweet victory will fuel plenty of celebrations. The CD Tenerife players were promised two free days to enjoy Carnaval if they won ““ the city is all yours boys.
The voluminous stage is filled, end to end and rear to front with five metre high rainbows of luxuriant plumes rising from what are essentially mobile stage settings on the themes of imperial Rome, the rhythms of springtime, eternal love and nine more. At the centre of each stage is its star; a scantily clad woman harnessed into her chariot, her perfectly coiffured hair, painted lips and bejewelled face waiting. We’re all waiting. Audience, designers, families, cameras, laptop screens and TV viewers ““ all waiting for the moment when presenter EloÃsa González announces the name of the new Carnaval Queen 2012.
“Reina Carnaval, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 2012 …la señorita…” EloÃsa pauses in between the words, a polished nerve jangler of an announcement. “…Carmen Gil González!” she shouts into the microphone.
There’s a collective releasing of breath as the full house of the Feria Recintal roars out its applause. Plumes of fireworks rise from front of stage alongside glitter streams which explode into the air and rain down on the entire ecstatic scene on and off stage. Slowly, Carmen moves her chariot ‘Imperio’ to front of stage and blows theatrical kisses to the deafening applause. Her body is shaking and her tears are flowing. She’s emotional, and she’s tired. We all are.
It’s been almost four hours since the curtain raised on the spectacular show that accompanies the election of a new carnival queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
To a packed house and a live TV audience of almost half a million, the night began with a sombre reminder of the war torn world from which the Carnaval’s theme of Flower Power emerged. A mock Vietnam War of silhouette soldiers, machine gun rattles and fearsome bombings gave way to the surreal world of the Beatles” Yellow Submarine and the sex, drugs and rock ‘n” roll of the Rolling Stones” Satisfaction.
Through a medley of hits of the 1960s, the audience were treated to performances from some of their favourite singers including Chago Melián, Isabel Gonzalez, Morocho and Pepe Benavente, all accompanied by magnificent stage sets and polished dance routines. As the night continued, the twelve candidates were introduced to the judges and audience, each girl having just three and a half minutes in which to make her appearance, do a circuit of the huge stage area and get the audience on side.
Having started 15 minutes late to accommodate the TV channels” need to satisfy the twin demi-gods of football and adverts, the show moved at a pace through musical numbers, a Venezuelan folklore group Yacambú; a homage to 49 years of Carnaval Queens from 1966 to present day; a tribute to Manolo Monzón who founded the first ‘comparsa’ carnival group, Los Rumberos, back in 1965 and who died in October 201; and no less than two Murga performances, the clock ticked relentlessly on until the early hours of Thursday morning.
When the new queen was finally announced, the stage was mobbed by TV and camera crews, Carmen Gil Gonzalez got her first taste of what life in the spotlight would be like for the next 12 months, the audience made its weary way homewards and Carnaval 2012 could get ready to take the party to the streets with its Opening Parade.
Bucking the trend of carnival weather and defying the threatened rain which was forecast to hit the city last night, Santa Cruz staged a glamorous and glittering opening to its 2012 Carnaval in a dry and balmy 18ºC.
Tenerife Magazine joined over a hundred thousand onlookers lining the route for the Cabalgata opening parade on Friday night which featured some 20,000 dancers, Murgas, musicians, fancy dress groups and of course, the newly crowned Infant, Third Age and Adult Carnaval Queens and their Dames.
Spanning more than three hours, the parade laughed, sang and danced its way through the city, setting the scene for the all night parties which will see the capital’s streets thronging with fancy dress clad crowds for the next eight days and nights.
Amongst the ‘celebrities” making an appearance in the parade, we spotted Michael Jackson, Captain Jack Sparrow (who’s remarkable resemblance to Johnny Depp had us doing a double take), Charlie Chaplin, Barbie and Harpo Marx.
Looking suitably refreshed after her gruelling schedule of photo shoots and interviews following the Gala Election on Wednesday night, Carmen Gil Gonzalez, Carnaval Queen 2012 waved and blew kisses to onlookers as she passed by in her spectacular costume ‘Imperio’, designed by Santi Castro.
When Tenerife Magazine interviewed Carmen the day after she was crowned Carnaval Queen 2012, she was hoping that the warmth of the crowd would make up for the lack of coverage in her costume as she braved the night air. In the event, the weather joined forces with the crowds to ensure her wish was granted.
Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.
Snow on Tenerife
Snow on Tenerife at this time of year isn’t really a big deal; there can be snow on Mount Teide till June. But when the clouds lifted on Monday everyone was surprised by just how far down the hillside the snow level had reached. Roads through the towns of Benijos and Aguamansa (around the 1000 metre mark) in the north of Tenerife were turned white and snow completely covered the town square in La Esperanza, something that no-one there had ever witnessed previously. As the unusual weather conditions piled up, the south west coast experienced hailstones whilst temperatures at 1800 metres fell to 0c for only the fourth time in recorded history (recorded history doesn’t stretch back that far; the other three times were 1996, 1997 and 2005). Just to top things off rain of up to 73 litres per square metre was recorded in Los Rodeos and Las Mercedes with Candelaria experiencing around 62 litres per square metre. The storm front affected the whole Canarian archipelago and even low lying Fuerteventura felt the force of hailstorms. Not the best week for anyone visiting the island”¦but hang on in there; normal service will be resumed by the weekend.
Driving on Tenerife is Sexy…
… if you happen to be behind the wheel of one of the new Mercedes Benz cars that have added a touch of sleek glamour to Tenerife’s roads during March.
Throughout the month Mercedes Benz have been using the island’s dazzling scenery as a backdrop to showcase their stunning new models to 700 journalists from all over the globe. To be used as a location to officially launch a prestigious new car from the Mercedes Benz stable is quite a coup for Tenerife. Have a look below to see the gorgeous SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY in action on some of Tenerife’s equally gorgeous roads.
Carnaval Dates for Tenerife for 2012
Okay we’re all still yawning due to the excesses of Carnaval 2011, but for all of you out there who like to plan in advance, here are the dates of the Santa Cruz Carnaval 2012. The opening parade will be Friday 17 February 2012 with the closing parade being Tuesday 21st and Burial of the Sardine Wednesday 22nd February. And just in case four weeks of carnival wasn’t enough to satisfy carnaval junkies, the whole shebang will now last for five weeks with the first event taking place on the 27th January. That means an extra week of murgas”¦deep joy.
Who Wants to Be Michael Jackson?
With the Michael Jackson tribute show Forever King of Pop looking around for a young Michael to play the king of pop in the hit show in La Laguna at the end of March/beginning of April on Tenerife, it would be reasonable to expect the casting director’s office to be flooded with mini MJ look-alikes. But only fourteen potentials turned up. The casting was announced on the show’s website but as it was in Spanish only maybe it was missed by non Spanish-speaking residents. Or perhaps there aren’t that many children on Tenerife who look like a young Michael Jackson who can sing and dance to a professional level as well.
Pick up a St Patrick’s Day Bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey on Tenerife
Jameson’s have released a specially designed bottle of their whiskey just for St Patrick’s Day. The unique bottle, designed by Irish artist Paul Daly, has a Celtic music theme and is only available in travel related outlets during March. These include airports such as Rome, Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and”¦yes, you’ve guessed it ““ Tenerife South.
And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Al Campo supermarket for not keeping its Caja Verde till manned full time.
It represents a step forward to see Tenerife supermarkets adopting environmentally friendly measures by introducing special “˜green’ tills that can only be used by customers who bring their own bags or use the store’s recycled ones (incidentally, Carrefour’s also look great). Al Campo introduced green tills some time ago but lately their La Orotava branch seems to have sacrificed the manning of the till on a regular basis. It begs the question what’s the point of introducing environment saving measures if you don’t commit to them 100%? Make a sentence out of the words lip, service and paying. Green tills should be the first tills that are manned in a supermarket, not the last.
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 GarcÃa, 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 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, GÃ¼Ãmar
GÃ¼Ãmarhas the best carnival poster on Tenerife this year and enough to warrant a visit the town of the mysterious pyramids for their celebrations.