It looks like Progreso’s “Citizen Carnaval” planned for Feb. 26 will not be happening after all, at least on the Malecon.
City Hall says that it has issued no permits for any large public events in the port city, including any street parties or Carnaval celebrations.
Similarly, police say they have received no requests to open up traffic along the Malecon or offer any sort of assistance during the event.
“The idea now is to have a mini Carnaval of sorts, with about 150 people. We understand the pandemic is still annoying but we need to get on with our lives,” said local activist and Citizen Carnaval organizer, Lucrecia Lombardo.
It is yet to be seen if even this scaled-back versión of the event will be allowed to proceed.
In recent weeks and months the number of people on Progreso’s boardwalks, beach, and restaurants has increased considerably, leading many to believe COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
On social media, locals have pointed out that it would be hypocritical for authorities to not allow a gathering of 150 when groups of hundreds of cruise goers are arriving at the port city every week.
“Social distancing is still encouraged, but it does not always happen. Things seem to be mostly back to normal,” said Progreso resident Laura Sanchéz.
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 suffered.
Carnaval (Spanish for “carnival,” of course) is celebrated each spring in different destinations throughout Latin America. Its dates align with the Christian calendar.
It is held the week before Ash Wednesday (miercoles de cenizas) which marks the beginning of Lent, the period of austerity before Easter.