Home Events Carnaval Your Guide to Barranquilla’s Carnaval 2020

Your Guide to Barranquilla’s Carnaval 2020

527
0
Your Guide to Barranquilla Carnaval
Barranquilla`s 2009 Carnaval Queen in the Batalla de Flores

You made it! Welcome to Barranquilla – the city of everlasting parties! We sure do hope you brought some extra energy with you.. this weekend is going to be absolute madness! Here’s a guide to Barranquilla’s Carnaval with a list of all the mainline events.

Saturday Feb 22nd

Your guide to Barranquilla’s Carnaval

Your Guide to Barranquilla's Carnaval
Wearing the headress of a Carnaval lioness!

Batalla de Flores

The first and biggest parade is the Batalla de Flores (Battle of Flowers) which really kicks off the weekend and for many is the highlight of the entire Carnaval. Led by the Queen of Carnaval, this parade is slated to begin on Saturday at 12 noon, but in my experience, it’s always late so don’t be too excited about arriving at your palco on time.

This year, the parade will be running along Via 40 from Calle 85. If you couldn’t get a Palco, don’t worry about it – there’s plenty of space for onlookers all along the parade route. The parade goes on for hours (around six!!!) and there’s liquor being poured at every turn, so you’ll definitely want to gear up with tons of water and maybe also a bucket of sunscreen. It’s a fantastic show!

Your Guide to Barranquilla Carnaval
Congo Dancers strutting their stuff along the Via 40

Batalla de Flores del Recuerdo ‘Sonia Osorio’

If you’re looking for something a little lower key than the main Batalla de Flores event (or you couldn’t get a palco seat), you can check out this secondary Battle of Flowers parade being held by local Folkloric associations in memory of Sonia Osorio, a major contributor to the local arts who passed away in 2011. This one kicks off at 2pm at Plaza de la Paz on Cra 44 and Calle 74 (across from the Reina Maria Cathedral) – next to Portal del Prado mall.

Baila La Calle

Ready to cut the rug? Get your boogie on? Shake that booty? Baila La Calle (Street Dance) kicks off at 5pm anywhere along Cra 50 in Barrio Abajo and goes literally into the wee hours. There are usually various stages set-up pumping out different beats (generally champeta), and there’s plenty of booze and bites on sale along the way.. make sure to bring some extra bucks stashed in a zipped up pocket – but leave your electronics at home.. night events are a haven for pick-pockets. Speaking of which.. the party gets pretty raucous as the night drags on, and as the liters of booze go down.. it’s a good idea to go with friends and avoid trouble. Oh, and expect your shoes to get super dirty – dress for comfort first.

Carnavalada

For a different groove (much more peaceful) head out to Carnavalada, a grass-roots music festival that originally began on the city streets but was recently moved to the park in front of Museo Caribe (Parque Cultural de Caribe) at Calle 36 and Cra 46. It’s much more kid-friendly and offers tons of free seating.  Carnavalda runs from 6 pm to around 2 am.

 

Sunday, Feb 23rd

Your guide to Barranquilla’s Carnaval

Your Guide to Barranquilla Carnaval
Cumbia dancers at Barranquilla’s Carnaval

The Grand Parade of Tradition and Folklore

The second most important parade of Carnaval is the Gran Parada de Tradicion y Folclor (The Grand Parade of Tradition and Folklore), held in the same place as Saturday’s Battala de Flores (along the Via 40) but composed primarily of local folkloric groups rather than grand, expensive floats. Just like Saturday’s event, this one is long and hot, so make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. It kicks off around 1 pm.

Gran Parada ‘Carlos Franco’

This is another alternate folkloric parade, held by the local Association of Folkloric Groups. Much calmer than the one on the Via 40 (and free to watch), it begins at 2 pm from Parque Olaya on Carrera 21.

Festival Joselito Carnaval en Musica de Acordeon

For those more interested in music than parades, head on over to Parque de Los Musicos at Carrera 46 and Calle 72 (next to the Joe Arroyo Transmetro Station) at 2 pm for a show featuring local accordion musicians.

Baila La Calle:

Same as above on Saturday (5 pm at Cra 50 in Barrio Abajo), except that at 6 pm this night, there will be a special music festival – Festival de Musica Tradition Tambo.

Carnavalada:

Same as above on Saturday (6 pm at Parque Cultural de Caribe)

Monday, Feb 24th

Your guide to Barranquilla’s Carnaval

Your Guide to Barranquilla Carnaval
LGBT dancers playing Negrita Puloy

Festival de Orquestras

For a free open-air music competition, head to Plaza de la Paz (Calle 53 and Carrera 46). Festival of the Orchestras will be on all afternoon starting at 11 am. This is a huge competition that brings musical groups from across the country and abroad.

Gran Parada de Comparsas (The Fantasy Parade)

Running along the same major parade route (via 40) starting at 1 pm, this parade is composed of dance troupes from across the region – everything from church groups to companies to professional dance teams. Like the other parades, it’ll be long and hot so be prepared.

Encuentro de Saberes

If you consider yourself an intellectual or are looking for some insight into the history of Carnaval, head over to Parque Cultural de Caribe at 4pm for a knowledge gathering – a public talk.

Encuentro de Comedias

Looking to tickle your funny bone? This event (Comedy Gathering) in Parque Olaya at 5pm promises to make you smile, or at least try.

Carnavalada:

Same as above on Saturday & Sunday (6 pm at Parque Cultural de Caribe)

 

Tuesday, Feb 25th

Your guide to Barranquilla’s Carnaval

Enuentro de Coleccionista de Musica del Caribe

Head down to Parque Cultural del Caribe at 11am to listen to some of the traditional tunes of the region.

Desfile de la Calle 84

For an enjoyable parade with way fewer people than the others, head down to Calle 84.. from Cra 42H, all the way up to Cra 60, at 2 pm. Bring your maizena! And don’t forget the water!!

Desfile Joselito se va con las cenizas

This is the final parade of Carnaval – and the funniest! Definately don’t miss it – representing the death of Joselito Carnaval, it’s a parade full of crying mistresses bringing Joselito to his funeral. Check it out at 4 pm at Carrera 54 and Calle 58. Really, you’ll see people all over the city dressed in black and crying their hearts out for poor Joselito – though it could also be they’re crying from terrible hangovers!

And that’s all folks!! We hope you found this guide to Barranquilla Carnaval useful. If so, leave a comment below!

Canadian entrepreneur based in Barranquilla with his husband and 3 four-legged kids. Originally in global vendor management, Mike has spent the last 15 years in LATAM and now has several projects on the go, including Barranquilla Now and Urban English. These days, life is all about family and living La Gozadera!

Leave a Reply