Ponce Carnival or Carnaval Ponceño 2023- Next year dates will be Feb 10-13, 2024
Dates for 2024 Carnaval will be Feb 10- Feb 13th from the Visit Ponce page!
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 165 th Ponce Carnival will be Feb 16-21!.
A Normal Year
Normally, the Ponce Carnival is full of 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.
This returns the usual Carnaval Events in the Town Plaza.
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.
Schedule and route 2023 –
- Thursday 16 starting at 6:30pm at town plaza
- Friday Feb 17th, starting at 7pm- (Entrance of King Momo) Stage at town Plaza
- Saturday Feb 18 – (Crowning of the queens)
- Sunday Feb 19- Parade Day!
- Monday Feb 20• Salsa! Stage at town Plaza by Alcaldia and dancing in Plaza Las Delicias
- Tuesday Feb 21 • Burial of the Sardine. Stage At town Plaza/Alcaldia
February 16 – 21 2023
Quique y Los Cimarrones
Baile de Máscaras (dance of the Masks)Festival Nacional del Baile de Máscaras del Carnaval Ponceño, Inc.
Harold Pratts y Jíbara Banda
Desfile de Entrada del Rey Momo (Parade of the entrance of King Momo) Parade starts from Museo Francico “Pancho” Coimbre, down Calle Lolita Tizol, down Calle Isabel, to the stage in front of the Mayor’s building.
A Son de Guerra
4:00 p.m. – ACIRC • Circo en la Plaza (circus)
5:30 p.m. – Taller pintar caretas, para niños (kids workshops)
7:00 p.m. – Talento Infantil y Ballet Salsa Sur
8:00 p.m. – Parade and Crowning of the Queens (leaving from Museo Fancisco “Pancho” Coimbre, down calle Lolita Tizol, then Calle Isabel to stage in Plaza by Mayor’s office), then more music
12:00 p.m. – Retreta con la Banda Municipal de Ponce-frente al Parque de Bombas
1:00 p.m. – Jorge Brown y su Orquesta (tarima Plaza by Alcaldia)
1:30 p.m. – Show del Payaso Flacumbo (Parque Tricentenario)
around 1pm – Big Parade of the Carnaval! Leaves from uner the bridge by the Centro del Sur Mall(on the side of Biblioteca Mariana Suarez de Longo), down Bulevar Miguel POU, calle Isabel to the stage in front of the Mayor’s office.
9:00 p.m. – Eric Rivera y La Clásica (tarima Plaza)
Kriptony Texeira y su Orquesta
Jota Ruiz y su Orquesta
Orquesta Costa Brava
Orquesta Salsa del Sur
Parade of the Sardine Burial- Entierro de la Sardina.leaving from Museo Fancisco “Pancho” Coimbre, downla Lolita Tizol, then Calle Isabel to stage in Plaza by Mayor’s office. Then the big reveal of who King Momo is!
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. Schedule source:
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!