Residents of Progreso have decided to go ahead with Carnaval celebrations on Feb 26, despite a clear rebuke from City Hall.
The event, organized by volunteers, will feature many of the same attractions it always has, including floats, a parade, and plenty of brightly colored costumes.
“This is our Carnaval and will have no involvement from the city government. We are doing it for ourselves with our own money,” said organizer Lucrecia Lombardo.
After the traditional parade full of dancers down Progreso’s Malecon, festivities are scheduled to continue well into the night.
Progreso’s City Hall announced that it would once again be canceling Carnaval celebrations out of safety concern regarding the spread of COVID-19.
Officials have not commented on the unauthorized celebration, which would possibly attempt to bring parade floats onto Progreso’s now-pedestrian-only boardwalk.
The king and queen of Progreso’s “Citizen Carnaval” are to be Eric Fernando Mensa Sosa and Chary US Arzoa. The organizing committee has also announced that the LGBTQ+ community will be represented by the popular entertainer Jessica Escalante, known locally as “Kika.”
Historically, Progreso’s Carnaval has been dwarfed by Mérida’s much larger celebrations. But since Mérida’s Carnaval was moved out of Paseo de Montejo to Xmatkuil’s fairgrounds, attendance has been suffering.
As a result, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carnaval festivities in Progreso had been booming.
“The Carnaval in Progreso is just much more fun than out at Xmatkuil, also it’s faster and easier to get to. Besides after the parade you can enjoy a beer, some seafood and jump into the ocean, what could be better?,” said Mérida resident, Adan Estrada on Facebook.
For its part, Mérida last hosted a Carnaval at the Xmatkuil fairgrounds just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late February 2020. As was the case in 2021, this year’s Carnaval celebrations in Mérida have been canceled.