Today Saturday 18th February marks the start of Madrid´s Carnaval Week.
Every year, from the weekend before Shrove Tuesday to Ash Wednesday, Madrid celebrates Carnival with a full city council programme of free activities for all the family.
After two years of pandemic induced restrictions the long-awaited 2023 celebrations start today in the Madrid Rio with the return of the Carnaval Parade.
The Carnival parade winds itself along the banks of the Manzanares River through Madrid Rio and the Matadero with thousands of performers in their fancy dress and masks to mark the start of the celebrations.
The parade will feature tightrope walkers, giant chess pieces, swashbucklers, stilt walkers, skaters, folklore associations as well as historical themes from Madrid´s long and rich past including Habsburg Madrid and the 80s Movida joining mythological figures such as the Neptune, whose famous fountain is a Madrid landmark.
The city’s multiculturalism will also be reflected with 11 cultural associations from countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina & Chile who will bring South American flavours and rhythms to the festivities. .
The parade is run by Madrid performing troop Yllana who have been putting on shows, parades and performances around the world for over 30 years.
The parade will kick off next to the Perrault Bridge, an icon of Madrid Río, from where it will head towards the Greenhouse on the Explanada Negra. The stage will be set up there, where the performer from Madrid, Fernando Gil will read the traditional Carnaval proclamation.