Cuenca’s Carnaval begins with a bang and a splash

Feb 9, 2018 | 7 comments

To paraphrase Bob Dylan, Everyone must get slimed. Spray foam and squirt guns were the weapons of choice Thursday night.

A little early evening rain wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of party goers during Thursday night’s Compadres y Comadre festivities. A crowd estimated at 10,000 crowded into Parque Calderon, spilling over to surrounding streets to celebrate as fireworks signaled the opening of Carnaval 2018.

Everybody and every body loves a parade.

In late afternoon, many of the celebrants crowded along Calle Simon Bolivar for the Cuatro Rios Carnaval parade, which featured lavish costumes, traditional and contemporary dancers and several brass bands. Among the parade entries were units from the elder university and other city universities.

The Vanegas family, dressed in traditional Cuencano costumes, served as master of ceremonies for the parade. They were accompanied by the city’s Citizen Guard and a banda de pueblo.

Later in the park, those in the crowd, including hundreds of expats, sprayed each other with foam, threw water balloons, and listened to the bands playing in the band shell.

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No one was spared.

Thousands gathered near the performance stage on Mariscal Sucre.

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