Ponce Carnival or Carnaval Ponceño 2020
New Info- 2/5/2020- I have received word from the Municipal of Ponce that due to the devastating earthquakes, Carnaval will be reduced to only 1 day this year. It will only be Sunday 2/23.
Ponce Carnaval 2020 will start February 21 and run through Fat Tuesday (Feb 25). Mark your calendars!
The Ponce Carnival (Carnaval de Ponce or Carnaval Ponceño, in Spanish) is an annual week-long celebration. There are parades with wildly decorated floats, crazy costumed people, lots of music, loads of spectators, and merriment.
Similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, it is derived from the old world tradition of a final celebration before the beginning of Lent. But over time, it has transformed into a week-long party!
If you want to party Puerto Rican style, mark your calendars — The 162nd Ponce Carnival will be Feb 23, 2020 .
What to Expect
If you plan to attend the Ponce Carnival, you should expect to see loud and colorful parades, with marching bands, with dancers and floats. The parades are similar to those held around the island throughout the year at other town festivals or Carnivals — but on steroids!
Central to the festivities in Ponce are the vejigantes — masked, colorfully-dressed, clown-like characters, wearing paper mâché masks with scary teeth & horns — dancing and strutting to bomba and plena music. They may swat bystanders with soft balloons (supposedly to chase away the evil spirits) as they go by.
There will be lots of bomba and plena music, and many of the interactive, chanting songs. Before and after the parades, there will be other live music at stages throughout the evenings.
The schedule is basically the same from year to year. The most popular events are the huge parade on Sunday, and the burial on Tuesday, but each night has great activities.
The events take place, and the parades end, at the main stage on front of the Ponce City Hall (Casa Alcalde) at the town plaza, Plaza las Delicias. This is the same plaza where the where the famous black and red firehouse is located.
We hear that the town of Ponce will have free buses going around town to help move people, so hopefully traffic will be reduced. Note to Poncenerios: check the bus routes!
Schedule and route 2020
Friday, Feb 21@ 7:30pm:Parade of the carnival’s King, "Rey Momo" The parade starts at the Museo Francisco "Pancho" Coímbre (the sports museum), goes down Calle Isabel and and ends at Plaza Delicias in front of City Hall. Live music and Fun. Saturday, Feb 22 @ 7:30pm: The Parade and crowning of Ponce’s young Princesses and Queen. Then Live music and dance shows in Plaza las Delicias. The parade starts at the Museo Francisco "Pancho" Coímbre (the sports museum), and ends in front of City Hall.
- Sunday, Feb 23 11a-1pm…Baile de Mascaras. @ 1:00p:Parade- Starts from Bulevar Miguel Pou, intersection with the Centro del Sur Mall. Goes toward the Puente de los Leones, down Calle Isabel and ends at the Teatro La Perla. But it still will have the dancers, music, costumed Vejigantes and more.The parade on Sunday travels over a LONG route, so the parade may not arrive at the main stage until a couple hours later. The Rey Mono and the Royalty (Reinas) will also arrive with this event. At 7pm-8pm will be the Burial of the Sardina and the revelation of Rey Mono, and at 9pm Live music.
The parade starts at Parque Pasivo Julio E. Monagas, heads north on Route 2, continues on Boulevard Miguel Pou, to Calle Isabel, to Plaza las Delicias, and finally ends in front of City Hall. The Ponce Mayor will be in the front of the parade, and should get to the Town Square in less than 1.5 hrs, but the rest of the parade can take 2-3 or more hours to get there- with all the stops along the way to perform their musical and dance numbers.
The following activities are not going to be held this year 2020.
Planning to attend?
Make the most of your day or night in Ponce by keeping these tips in mind
- This is a family-friendly event, everyone is welcome.
- If you are driving into town, you’ll want to get there early to get a decent parking spot. Look for public parking lots, or metered parking on the street.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will probably have to walk a distance from where you’ve parked, and you’ll be standing around waiting for, and during, the parade and shows. Bring a folding chair if you have one.
- It is hot during the day of the parade, so dress appropriately — hat, sunglasses, and maybe even an umbrella for some shade.
- Stay hydrated! Bring some water. People will be selling drinks and food during the parades.
- Bring some change- some of the bands and dance clubs pass around cans for donations to help with costumes and expenses.
- There will be restrooms (port-a-potties) along the parade routes. Might be smart to bring some tissues, just in case they run out.
- Most importantly — Have patience, get in the spirit, and have fun!
You can get more information by calling the Ponce Carnival coordinator at 787-841-8044 ext 2245. Or try the Ponce Cultural Office: 787- 284-4141 ext. 2249.
Assume that the schedule is subject to change with little or no warning.
We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...
- Francisco Pancho Coimbre sports museum: (18.014595, -66.609029)
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral: (18.011799, -66.614159)
- Parque Monagas: (17.996157, -66.596981)
- Ponce City Hall / Casa Alcalde: (18.010825, -66.613927)
- Ponce Firehouse: (18.011891, -66.613531)
- public parking lot, Ponce: (18.010616, -66.612087)
- public parking lot, Ponce: (18.012819, -66.611754)
- public parking lot, Ponce: (18.004580, -66.585211)
- Town Square, Ponce (Plaza de las Delicias): (18.011549, -66.613975)
PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it!