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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Yucatán mourns the passing of its greatest Carnaval King

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Jacarandoso I may have only been the official King of Canarnaval on two occasions, but for most, in Mérida, he was always the undisputed highlight of every parade and event. Photo: Rodrigo Díaz Guzmán

The passing of Marcelo Sanguinetti — the Carnaval King best known as Jacarandoso I — was announced on social media by family members. He was 74.

In Spanish, jacarandoso loosely translates as joyful, jovial, or outgoing. 

Sanguinetti was well-loved across Yucatán for heading massive floats and bringing joy to millions of people at Mérida’s Carnaval celebrations for over 40 years.

“Fly high, Jacarondoso, because today there will be a party in heaven,” wrote Sanguinetti’s niece, Karen Sanguinetti, on Facebook. 

Earlier: Mérida’s Carnaval to make a huge comeback in 2023 with citywide celebrations

Sanguinetti’s passing is also being publicly mourned by several public figures including Mérida Mayor Renan Barrera. In a statement, Barrera recalled how impressed he had been by Jacarandoso as a young child. 

Sanguinetti channels his inner Jacarandoso while sporting an enormous orange feathered costume during Mérida’s 2016 Carnaval. Photo: Mérida Carnaval Commitee 

Jacarandoso I became a fixture of Mérida’s Carnaval celebrations back in 1980 thanks to his exuberant personality, out-of-this-world wardrobe, and ability to connect with folks from every walk of life. 

He was Mérida’s official King of Carnival in 1980 and 2000, but even when he was “simply participating” in the parade, he was seen as the true king as his efforts outshone even the reigning monarchs. 

In 2019, Mérida’s Carnaval committee awarded Sanguinetti a lifetime achievement award and announced the opening of an exhibit in Mérida’s museum featuring several photographs and some of his most iconic costumes. 

Sanguinetti poses for photographs during the opening of an exhibit in his honor organized by Mérida’s Carnaval committee. Photo: Courtesy
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