Progreso, Yucatán — More than 80,000 people crowded the malecón on Sunday as Carnaval began counting down the the final days of celebration.
Attracting numbers that exceed the port city’s population, the “Fiesta de la Carne” was a bigger hit than the day’s activities in the Xmatkuil fairgrounds, where most of Carnaval celebrations are being held. The newspaper La Verdad reported that Meridanos in particular enjoyed celebrating by the beach because of its convenience and price.
Since leaving the Paseo de Montejo for Xmatkuil, attendees have grumbled about transportation costs, parking fees, and 30-peso beer at the fairgrounds. But on the malecón, the parade was a reminder of the old celebrations along the Paseo de Montejo, where visitors brought coolers with snacks and liquid refreshments.
Hotels were reported at 100 percent occupancy, booked up for at least a week, says La Verdad.
The beach wasn’t a totally perfect venue. Lines were long at restaurants and bars, many of which charged 10 pesos to use the bathroom. Driving back to Mérida, drivers were delayed by a bottleneck when police set up roadblocks to stop drunk drivers.
And on social media Monday morning, photos were posted to remind the public why the chaotic Carnaval was moved off the public streets of the Centro: Mounds of garbage everywhere covered the streets.
Fat Tuesday, the final day of revelry, was expected to bring out another 100,000 people to the beach. Closing ceremonies for Carnaval are tomorrow, when Lent begins.