Carnaval was cancelled, but its committee got paid in full

Women atop a carnival float throw t-shirts to the crowd. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Women atop a carnival float throw t-shirts to the crowd. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Despite its cancellation, Méridas’s carnaval cost taxpayers over 4 million pesos.

The expenses were necessary, said city hall official, Fausto Sánchez López.

Most of the money was spent covering the wages of members of Yucatán’s carnival committee, while the rest was used to pay administrative expenses.

Mérida Mayor Renán Barrera Concha had previously stated that the budget earmarked for Canaval would be spent on buying COVID-19 vaccines and helping to better equip doctors in the public health sector. 

Before it’s cancelation, it had been announced that this year’s festivities would take on the form of a hybrid carnaval, featuring musical caravans and online events. The event was then briefly rolled back to an exclusively online mode, before being cancelled altogether. 

The reported cost of the hybrid Carnaval was to be 13.7 million pesos, or about US$676,693.

The first Carnival in Merida is thought to have been celebrated as early as 1578. In the twentieth century the event ballooned in popularity with the inclusion of parades featuring decorative floats and large groups of scantily clad dancers. 

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.