Masquerade parade and Cuenca Grand Prix highlight weekend events; Officials warn of closed streets

Jan 6, 2023 | 2 comments

Nothing will be sacred Friday night when a crowd of 20,000 is expected on Av. Huayna Capac for Cuenca’s annual masquerade –or Day of the Innocents– parade. Dozens of entries will direct satirical barbs at Cuencano. Ecuadorian and international politicians, institutions and events, while others will use humor and dance to promote social and environmental causes.

A scene from the 2019 masquerade parade on Av. Huayna Capac.

Suspended in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, event sponsor, the Amistad Club, expects the largest crowd ever. “People are ready to get out and have fun and we are advising them to come early to get a good viewing space on the parade route,” says Amistad Club President César Banegas.

He adds: “We expect the same irreverent and outrageous entries as in earlier parades. Nothing is off limits.”

The parade begins at about 6 p.m. at the Av. República-Huayna Capac intersection and continuing down Huayna Capac to the El Vergel bridge.

The parade is not the only weekend event and city transportation officials caution that Saturday and Sunday’s Cuenca Grand Prix race will also cause traffic disruptions around the city. “This weekend will not be a good time to be driving in the downtown area,” the transportation office said in a statement. “Please stay off the streets if possible.”

The Grand Prix, sponsored by the Automóvil Club del Azuay, includes vehicle weigh-in and technical inspections at the intersection of Av. Del Estadio and Florencia Astudillo on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday’s race begins at 9 a.m. and concludes by 5 or 6 p.m..