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Ibiza Carnival Parade

The story and images from yesterdays Carnival in Ibiza Town plus where to see it next!

See end of article for details of the Santa Eulalia celebrations, Tuesday 04th March

Dia de les Illes Balears, or Day of the Balearic Islands on 1st March has been celebrated all over the archipelago this last weekend, and Ibiza certainly pulled out all the stops yesterday with a spectacular Carnival Parade taking place through the port of Ibiza Town and on to Vara de Rey.

We arrived in plenty of time for the 11.30 am start of the procession, to find the streets already lined with hundreds of spectators, many of whom were in fancy dress themselves; mums & dads with toddlers, even babies in pushchairs, dressed up as pirates, Spiderman and traffic cones…to name just a few. What was particularly striking was the wide cross-section of ages, nationalities and people from all walks of life coming together to celebrate; it seemed the whole of Ibiza was in the mood for a party!

The procession itself was nothing short of outstanding…colourful, elaborate, loud, hilarious at times. It is difficult to hazard a guess as to how many people actually participated in the parade; we counted around thirty floats in total with groups from all over Ibiza taking part. Most of the island's towns and villages are represented, along with dance schools, local bands and various other groups.

Particularly encouraging to see was the Ibiza Diu No float. The decision as to whether the much criticised planned oil exploration in our local seas will go ahead may have been postponed until September/October of this year, but there is no doubt that it is still foremost in islanders' thoughts, and the people of Ibiza continue to say a resounding "No" to oil drilling.

For just over an hour, we were enthralled by the extraordinary costumes, imaginatively decorated floats and impressive dancing, as all manner of characters and themes processed by. There were Smurfs, Popeye "El Mariano" complete with tins of spinach dancing behind him and throwing sweets to the crowd, hedgehogs (lots of them), 1940s girls in polka-dot skirts and headscarves waving their handkerchiefs to fighter planes made out of balloons, and the sounds of Strauss accompanied waltzing, masked characters from 19th century Vienna. The Lion King rained confetti down on us all, and from Ancient Egypt to Singin' in the Rain, the choreography was amazing. As for the bearded, grossly overweight "MierDonal's Barbie" in a pink box with a familiar-looking pair of golden arches…well, maybe we'll just leave it there!

The procession ended in Vara de Rey, where the carnival atmosphere still continued as people queued for Paella and music blared out from the huge marquis.

As well as everyone involved in the celebrations, Ibiza Spotlight would like to acknowledge the Civil Proteccion and the Emergency Services for ensuring that everything ran so smoothly and safely.

If you are on Ibiza and missed out on the fun yesterday, don't worry, the carnival is not over yet! There will be a follow-up event in Santa Eulalia tomorrow evening, Tuesday 4th March, from 17.00 hrs, with a parade, live music and presentation of awards at 18.30 hrs in the Plaza Espana.

Photo credits: Cat Milton

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