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Friday, January 30, 2009

Carnaval de Pelicula 2009 "Una Fiesta con Futuro"

Carnaval de Pelicula 2009 "Una Fiesta con Futuro"
by Steve Dryden

Carnaval de Pelicula 2009 "Una Fiesta con Futuro" takes place from Thursday, February 19, through Tuesday, February 24. Don't miss Ensenada's largest annual event featuring a Mardi Gras style celebration, parades, dancing, races, and family events—all blended with regional food, wine and other spirited beverages. Book your lodging reservations in downtown as soon as possible as rooms disappear rapidly, then put on your walking shoes, beads, colorful clothing and get ready to party! Be prepared to mingle with 85,000 to 90,000 local, regional, national and international guests as they celebrate multiple events over a six-day period. Last year over 500,000 guests roamed the streets of Ensenada over the six-day extravaganza in designated and secure locations without any major problems or security issues. Most intelligent and careful folks parked their vehicles at home or at hotels, walked, ran or taxied to the events. There will be limited parking between 7th and 8th and Miramar during the events for those with designated drivers and non-drinkers.


Admission to almost every event is free with vendors marketing beverages, food, gift items, crafts and souvenirs around the specified event locations in the downtown area. The Mayor's office, law enforcement and event planners focus on event safety and security with on-site patrols, cameras and crowd management techniques. Several children's and family events are featured along with an amazing array of interesting concerts, dance exhibitions, art shows and wine tasting venues being offered. You must be 18 years old to legally consume alcohol, and it is suggested that you pace yourselves as drunk and dangerous conduct will not be tolerated. Drinking is allowed in the "party zones" but not on city streets or in other public areas. Wine tasting will be offered on three nights: Saturday, Feb 21, Sunday, Feb 22 and Tuesday, Feb 24, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. near Santo Tomas winery on Miramar, between 6th and 8th Ave.

The Carnaval opens on Thursday, February 19, with the traditional Quena del Mar Hunor or the Burning of Bad Humor. This opening event includes fireworks located at Ruiz and 7th, beginning at 8 p.m.

Friday marks the Ceremonia de Coronacion de las Costes Reales or the Coronation of the Carnaval King and Queen and their Court located at Ruiz and 6th beginning at 8 p.m.

Saturday is a main attraction event with Carnaval Atletico or Sports Events that include foot racing and running. This also is the first day of parades beginning at 2 p.m. on Avenida Juarez and Ruiz and Boulevard Costero. The street fair begins at Miramar and 6th at 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. It is traditionally a family day, but watch your children during events and parades to avoid running for candy and gifts during traffic movement. Pick a spot to meet in case somebody gets lost!

Sunday is traditionally celebrated with a Circuito Ciclista or All Ages Bicycle Races on Av. Adolfo Lopez Materos (Calle Primera) or First Ave and Pedro Loyola beginning at 9 a.m. Later in the evening the street fair continues near Santo Tomas winery from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Monday is the "beloved" Baile del Marido Oprimido or the Oppressed Spouse Dance at the Bahia Hotel on Av.Lopez Mateos and Av. Alvarado at 8 p.m.

The event wraps up on Tuesday with Ultimo desfile de Carnaval or the final parade, Grand Finale and Entierro de Juan Carnaval or the burial of Juan Carnaval which symbolizes the burial of all that is impure, and marks the beginning of the Lent season. The parade begins at 2 p.m. near Avenida Juarez, Ruiz and Boulevard Costero. The burial event takes place at Salon Casa Blanca at 6 p.m. The final street fair events continues at Santo Tomas winery from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m.

For specific Carnaval information please call (646) 175-7740 or email carnavalens09@gmail.com. ABC and Mexicoach Transportation companies will be offering special fares from San Ysidro into Ensenada for the Carnaval season. Costa Baja Hotel of Ensenada will offer special room rates by using code 078 on their website when making reservations. And, for those who are not "party animals," remember you can join animals (mammals to be specific) during the annual whale migration taking place near Ensenada from February through March.

Steve Dryden is a food, wine and travel writer living in Valle de Gaudalupe where he guides individual and small group wine tours. He can be reached at sbdryden@hotmail.com.

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