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Anyone visiting Tenerife over the next month is quite likely to find themselves witnessing events that are a little out of the ordinary as Carnaval 2011 hits the island like a tropical storm in costume.

Depending on which part of the island you’re based in, you’re quite likely to witness party goers dressed as smurfs, witches, angels and Marvel comic characters either fresh faced and bright eyed on their way to the street party, sleeping precariously on a harbour wall or still propping up a bar mid-morning with eyes as red as the sunrise.

You’ll also probably stumble over exhibitions, vintage car rallies, dancing competitions and even, as in the case of the unsuspecting holidaymakers in Puerto de la Cruz a few days ago, a mini carnival parade.

As visitors and locals strolled the cobbled streets of the town centre on an average Sunday morning, the peace was shattered by the persistent sounding on a tinny horn which heralded the arrival of the candidates for the town’s Carnaval Queen 2011 elections in vintage cars accompanied by a mini parade of dancers and musicians.

You don’t have to attend the main events to know that party time has arrived; unlike the mountain to Mohammed, Carnaval will come to you 🙂

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Saturday 24th February
4pm
– closing parade. Another 3 hour standing marathon as the various dancing troupes, floats, Carnaval Queens and multitudinous winners of fancy dress prizes parade through the streets from Costa Martiánez to Castillo San Felipe.

10pm – Everyone’s in fancy dress for the closing party and looking forward to the final blow-out. I’ve opted for the Folies Bergère look in line with this year’s theme of ‘Paris in the 1920s’ and Jack’s gone for ‘Zombie Funeral Director’ – all white face, black eyes and top hat – very ghoulish.
Walk down to Casa Blanca and collect a Bishop, a fellow Folies Bergère, a monk, 2 angels and Chris wearing an outfit that no-one knew what it was supposed to be, including Chris.
Things are just beginning to liven up as we arrive in Plaza del Charco and, teenagers despatched to their various peer groups, we open a couple of bottles of wine that we’ve carried down with us, purely for the purposes of reducing the weight we’re carrying…
By 1 am the Plaza and harbour are jam packed with revellers and the music’s just beginning to take the crowd. By 3am the place is bouncing and it’s impossible to move in any direction at will. Allowing the ebb and flow of the crowd to drift us harbour side, we pop into Frigata and run into Cap’n Barbosa (alias Bob) who hasn’t managed to leave the bar yet and is almost oblivious to the thousands who are thronging the streets outside. A circuit of Calle Marina to Calle Perdomo and then to Calle Mequinez, which on an average day takes about 3 mins, takes us over an hour as we dance, centimetre by centimetre, tacking our way through the masses. By 5 am we’re danced out and exhausted, finally making our way homeward to sleep while the party continues to rage, ever more numbers arriving.
Our friends return to Blighty filled with memories and stories to bore their friends with, dates for next year’s Carnaval already noted.

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