Text and photos by: Pacho Manrique
Carnavalada is an event of transformation. It’s a huge gamble on culture that’s slowly paying off, and such is the success story of Carnavalada.
As its founders, the members of Ay Macondo Cultural foundation, one of the few steady theater projects in the city firmly believed, Carnival presented alternative cultural opportunities, and so they began offering theatrical and musical programming on the four days of Carnival. Highly regarded folkloric groups such as Sexteto Tabalá, Las alegres Ambulancias, and Diablos Arlequines among others, became regulars to the event which also offered theatrical shows from various companies around the country.
The event has been gaining traction for the most part by becoming an afterparty of choice for people attending the parades during the day and searching for a fun, inexpensive way to end the evening.
But as often goes with good things, the event became a victim of its own success when crowds turned too large for their usual venue. So instead of limiting attendance, this year, Carnavalada moved from Ay Macondo’s HQ to the Cultural Park of the Caribbean, a venue which can easily accommodate people in the thousands, and thus gave way to a new era in the event’s history. A history from which, without a doubt, a lot remains to be written.