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Carnival comes to Ibiza

Parades, music and high spirits

It's February and so it's carnival time all over the island with more than enough events for you to get involved in. Every town on the island has its own festivities with competitions for best costumes in the Rúa de Carnival parades. Expect music and high spirits and lots of local products for sale on the streets as snacks. At the end of each carnival there's the burial of the sardine to draw things to a close and get ready for Lent. So far, the only date we have for sardine burials is in Ibiza Town, which takes place on 10 February from 8pm in Parque de la Paz. Before that from 6pm in the same place, you can take in a dance show.

The parades are highly colourful and you'll see a lot of the island's young talent taking part. There's dance, Latin music, percussion and lots of popular music from film and stage in all Rúa de Carnival events . Our advice is to simply take to the streets and join in with the locals in the fun party atmosphere. Below we've compiled a set of events taking place in the three main towns of Ibiza Town, San Antonio and Santa Eulalia.

Ibiza Town

Thursday 4 January
Tortilla Party and Mariol·los costume competition
The start of the celebrations. The Tortilla Party on this day includes the creation of a giant omelette for 600 people made inside the marquee on Vara de Rey for the princely sum of €1 There's also the Mariol·los costume competition for which everyone digs out their most outrageous costumes, taking to the streets in heavy disguise.

Saturday 6 January
Feim Quarter
From 5pm-7pm in the marquee will be carnival games, a costume competition, a costume make-up workshops and masks and crowns for sale. At 7pm, there's a performance of Cachirulo, a clown show and from 9.30pm a rock and roll party featuring DJ Javi Box, plus acrobats and other “surprises”.

Sunday 7 February
Carnival Parade - Rúa de Carnaval
The main day of the Carnival in Ibiza Town where everyone throngs the streets to see the differently themed floats. Last year we had Aladdin and Charlie Chaplin guest starring amongst others. The parade starts at 11.30am in Avenida Santa Eulalia and continues via Avenida Bartomeu Roselló, Avenida Isidor Macabich, Calle de Valencia then ending in Vara de Rey, where a big tasty paella awaits to be had for around €2.

At 6pm there's an open-air concert given by the Symphony Band of Ibiza featuring different tracks from the musical Grease, Abba and Supertramp.

San Antonio

Thursday 4 February
Stage make up and costume competition
Fun and games for the whole family at 6pm in the big marquee in Paseo de ses Fonts with children's make-up classes and a carnival workshop. Then at 7pm it's San Antionio's Mariol·los costume competition, a variety of colour and creativity to be closely followed by a trout tasting competition, that you can take your own dish along to to be judged. Then at 8.30pm, there's what's being touted as the most fun dance of the year.

Saturday 6 January
Masked ball and “Carnawest”
A masked ball almost worthy of Cinderella, with music and prizes for the best costumes – usually ones over which the fine citizens of San Antonio have spent hours making. From 11pm in the West End, there's more festival festivities with "Carnawest" and another chance to win cash prizes for costumes.

Tuesday 9 January
Rúa de Carnaval
Meet at the car park on Avenida Doctor Fleming at 5pm, where the parade begins and which offcially starts at 5.30pm. Here you'll see the town come to life as the processions sweep past. Take drinks and snacks.

Santa Eulalia

Tuesday 9 January
Rúa de Carnaval
The famed Santa Eulalia carnival procession, well known for its colourful fancy dress costumes is well worth the visit. The carnival parade starts at 5.30pm in Calle San Jaime and finishes at Plaza de España. Then from 6.30pm there will be music in the streets and the judges announce who will win best float and best costumes prizes. After the announcement its party on in the town centre as the music and wine continues to flow.

There's no excuse to miss out on all these glorious carnival events and to get into the Ibiza spirit - make sure to note the dates down right away.

WORDS: Julian Heathcote

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