Mérida Carnaval to be virtual except for traveling caravan

For the second year in a row, Mérida’s Carnaval is to be free of crowds. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
For the second year in a row, Mérida’s Carnaval is to be free of crowds. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Mérida Mayor Renán Barrera Concha has announced that the city will not be canceling Carnaval altogether.  

The carnival is to be a hybrid event, with online components and a festive caravan that will traverse the city.

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

“This year we will not be hosting any large events, so we will have to adapt to this new format,” said Barrera Concha.

It has also been announced that this year’s celebrations will go forward without the coronation of a carnival king or queen, opting instead to dedicate the event to Yucatán’s frontline health workers.

Aside from online events, the 2021 Carnaval will feature musical caravans — complete with dancers, clowns, and marionettes —which will tour the city and be viewable from people’s homes.

The mayor highlighted the importance of events such as Carnaval for the city’s artists and entertainers. “We need to invest in them, they have seen some of the worst effects of this pandemic and we are obliged to show them our support.”

However, not everyone is on board with the mayor’s plan. Councilman Fausto Sánchez has argued that the money earmarked for the Carnaval would be better spent buying COVID-19 vaccines and equipping medical personnel with better equipment.

As is the case every year, funds for Mérida’s Carnaval are managed and allocated by the cities independent Carnaval committee.

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.