Mexican Caribbean

Celebrating 150 Years of Carnival at Cozumel

Welcome to the grandest spectacle in the Caribbean – Cozumel's Carnival, celebrating its magnificent 150th anniversary! Get ready to be swept away in a whirlwind of colors, music, and pure jubilation as we take a trip down the memory lane of this iconic event, explore the pre-carnival festivities, and introduce you to the contenders vying for the coveted titles of King and Queen of the Carnival.

A Century and a Half of Carnival Magic

Cozumel's Carnival is no novice to the fiesta scene. It's been around longer than your grandma's secret salsa recipe, and we're here to unfold the pages of its rich history. Picture this: the year is 1874, and Cozumel decided it needed a party – not just any party, but a spectacular carnival that would echo through the ages. And so, with the sounds of drums and the rhythm of laughter, Cozumel's Carnival was born.

Since then, it has been an annual tradition, a vibrant showcase of the island's cultural spirit and a testament to its ability to throw a party that can outshine even the sunniest Caribbean day. Over the years, the carnival has evolved, incorporating a kaleidoscope of influences, from religious festivities to the lively beats of Caribbean music, creating a unique celebration that is a true reflection of Cozumel's diverse heritage.

Pre-Carnival Celebrations

Now, let's talk about the pre-carnival shenanigans, the delightful teaser before the main event. Cozumel doesn't just dive headfirst into the carnival; it warms up with a series of festivities that build anticipation. Street parties, music festivals, dancing competitions starting from little kids all the way to the island’s elders(These groups are known as “Comparsas”), and a contagious energy envelop the island as locals and visitors alike prepare for the grand spectacle.

There's a buzz in the air, and it's not just the sound of the conch shells heralding the upcoming revelry. Cozumel transforms into a canvas of creativity, with artisans crafting dazzling costumes, musicians tuning their instruments, and chefs concocting culinary delights that will fuel the carnival spirit. It's a harmonious chaos that signals the imminent explosion of joy that is Cozumel's Carnival.

King and Queen of the Carnival

Now, onto the main event – the crowning glory of Cozumel's Carnival – the search for the King and Queen who will rule over for the entirety of the year. This year, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary, the stakes were higher, and the competition fiercer than ever. Meet the crown queen and king who wore their glitziest outfits and danced their way into the hearts of the people.

This year’s crowned King is Tonio Marrufo, who shone brightly on the dancefloor with his hip hop and reggaeton inspired dance moves; he won with a whopping 1,131 votes!!! Now, onto our beautiful dancing queen, Marisol Magaña and her show, “The queen’s cabaret!” She took home 977 votes, but most importantly: the hearts of every spectator.  

Tonio Marrufo photograph by Martin DzulMarisol Magaña photograph by Martin Dzul

Tonio Marrufo and Marisol Magaña photographs by Martin Dzul

For this 150th anniversary, the “Happiness” royalty are Tony Rivero (516 votes) and Alessandra Erives(649 votes, fun fact: We went to the same school! - It’s a small island), they killed in the dance floor and their shows will live on as some of the best the island has seen. Our “Fantasy” monarchs are Jesse Rivero and Anthony Vicencio, they accumulated 477 and 421 votes respectively.

Tony Rivero and Alessandra Erives photographs by Martin Dzul

Tony Rivero and Alessandra Erives photographs by Martin Dzul

The quest for the crowns promises not just regal charm but a spectacle of talents that will leave the audience torn between applause and gasps of amazement, and this year proves to be no different, the entire island is dripping with excitement, eagerly awaiting the coronation of its 150th Carnival monarchs.

 Anthony Vicencio and Jesse Rivero photographs by Martin Dzul

Anthony Vicencio and Jesse Rivero photographs by Martin Dzul

150 Years of Laughter, Love, and Lively Celebrations

As Cozumel's Carnival marks its remarkable 150th anniversary, the festivities promise to be more dazzling, more exuberant, and more unforgettable than ever before. From the historical roots that planted the seeds of this grand fiesta to the present-day blend of tradition and contemporary revelry, the carnival has stood the test of time as a testament to Cozumel's vibrant spirit.

Make sure to pack your dancing shoes, your most colorful attire, and join us in Cozumel for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Let the carnival spirit carry you away as you revel in the joyous chaos of music, dance, and laughter. It's not just a party; it's a legacy, an ode to 150 years of celebrating life, love, and the infectious magic of Cozumel's Carnival. Don't miss the chance to be part of history – join us on the 10th, 11th, and 13th of February for the grand parades and let the festivities begin!

Let's finish this off with some pictures of my younger self!!!


Cover and candidates’ photos taken by Martin Dzul