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Mazatlan and Her Carnivals

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Your Official Travel Guide of Things to do in Mazatlan.

Mazatlan and Her Carnivals

Sophia Boccard

UPDATED: The single most anticipated event in Mazatlan will be taking place in less than a week and we’ve got the low down on what to do and when to do it! But before we start listing things out, a brief little history on Carnival never hurt anyone.

2017 mazatlan carnival

Carnival in Mazatlan materialized back in January 1898 by the people of the port who were looking to create an event that could be run by a civil committee. This alone makes Mazatlan’s Carnival the oldest in the country that continues to be run by a civilian committee that organizes and funds the grand festivities. On Tuesday, February 22 (of) 1898, the very first procession of floats, made up of decorated carts and bicycles, made their maiden journey through the crowds surrounding the streets of Plazuela Machado.

Originally influenced by the Italian carnivals in which a king was chosen to parody the stale European monarchies, Mazatlan decided to appoint a king to chair the new way of celebrating Carnival. The newly elected king would lead the carnival parade in which spectators would throw handfuls of flour, known as the “Game of Flour”, at the king, a tradition that continues today.

Every night between Thursday and Fat Tuesday, the promenades of Olas Altas and Claussen metamorphoses into a massive block party all along the Pacific Ocean, accommodating upwards to 500,000 spectators. The streets, filled with thousands of people walking, dancing, or simply people-watching, feature various band shells in multiple locations performing all types of music.  To help new and frequent visitors navigate and plan for the upcoming festivities, we put together a program of events that should not be missed!


UPDATED: 2017 International Carnival of Mazatlan

Coronation of King of Joy
Date: February 23 at 7:30pm
Location: Paseo Olas Altas
Performer: El Coyote - Jose Angel Ledesma

Coronation of the Queen of the Floral Games
Date: February 24 at 8:30pm
Location: Teodoro Mariscal Stadium
Performers: Susana Zabaleta, OSSLA, Camerata Mazatlan, Dir. Enrique Patron de Rueda

During the coronation of the Queen of the Floral Games, music fills up the entire stadium with people jumping to their feet to dance to the tunes giving everyone a night to remember.

Crowning of the Carnival Queen
Date: February 25 at 6:30pm
Location: Teodoro Mariscal Stadium
Performer: Gloria Trevi

Live music will energize and delight the crowd before Carnival Queen is crowned.

The Burning of Bad Humor
Date: February 25 at 8:00pm
Location: Paseo Olas Altas

A large puppet that symbolizes and can represent either an individual or institution that has been credited with the origin of the evils suffered by the people in the prior year, gets incinerated after being loaded with fireworks and gunpowder.

This act of burning symbolizes the exorcism of the evils to allow people to enjoy the festivities to the fullest extent. Past representatives of the large puppets have been former presidents of the republic, inflation, politicians, and even the local baseball team during some bad seasons.


Naval Combat
Date: February 25 at 10:30pm
Location: Paseo Olas Altas

The Naval Combat is a firework show that takes place directly after the Burning of the Bad Humor. The fireworks begin offshore as the representation of the offensive that took place during the French intervention of 1864 when the French tried to overtake the city. From the sands of Olas Altas, the aggression is answered with more fireworks to continue the symbolization of the resounding feat of Mazatlan.


First Carnival Parade
Date: February 26 at 5:30pm
Location: Begins at Fisherman’s Monument and continues to Valentino’s

Queens of Carnival, ambassadors, band members, and other celebrities all participate in the first Carnival parade in Mazatlan. The parade begins at the Fisherman’s Monument and continues north to conclude at the Avenida Rafael Buelna.

Coronation of the Child Queen
Date: February 27 at 6:30pm
Location: Teodoro Mariscal Stadium
Performer: REIK

Festival of Lights Fireworks
Date: February 27 at 10:00pm
Location: Avenida del Mar
Performer: Julion Alvarez y su Norteno Banda

Second Carnival Parade
Date: February 28 at 4:30pm
Location: Aquarium to Olas Altas

This massive parade will highlight the beauty of the Carnival Queen and the Queen of the Floral Games with performances of various musical groups.

carnival mazatlan calendar 2017