Loulé and Albufeira prepare for Carnaval weekend
This weekend, Loulé and Albufeira will welcome the traditional festivities of Carnival, or ‘Carnaval’ in Portuguese.
Loulé’s Carnaval, considered to be one of the best and oldest in all of Portugal, returns after nearly three years. The festivities were held digitally in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while in 2022 an “alternative edition” of the famous Carnaval parade was organised, with floats being displayed on the streets instead of being paraded around town.
And Albufeira has also announced the return of the municipality’s Carnaval festivities, promising “double the fun” this year.
Loulé’s iconic Carnaval makes a glorious return, with parades, samba, satire and much more
Loulé will have a glorious return to its original format, with three major parades to take place between February 19 and 21.
The theme will be the Algarvensis Geopark, which brings together Loulé, Silves and Albufeira and is aspiring to join the official network of UNESCO Geoparks.
Fourteen floats, nine entertainment groups, three samba schools and more than 600 people will be taking part to put on a huge show for all visitors.
The ‘king’ of the parade will be the Metoposaurus algarvensis, an extinct amphibian similar to a giant salamander which lived in the Algarve around 227 million years ago and which inspired the bid to become a UNESCO Geopark. One of the main goals is to bring new life to the boroughs, using their important geological heritage to fight desertification in inland areas.
“We will be playing around with a subject that is indeed very important for us and is one of the main projects for the future of our community and territory, and believe that Carnaval can help us with our intentions,” said the local council.
However, it would not be Carnaval without a good dose of political, social and sports satire.
Ten local charitable associations will also be taking part in the parades. They are: EXISTIR, JS Campinense, Algarve Gym, GD Barreiras Brancas, As Tradições de Loulé, Motoclube de Loulé, Associação Satori, TUALLE – Tuna Universitária Afonsina de Loulé, AGAL – Associação Grupo dos Amigos de Loulé and Associação Fénix.
The parades will take place between 3pm and 5.30pm at Avenida José da Costa Mealha. Tickets cost €2 per person with proceeds going to charity.
Also planned is a ‘Carnaval Infantil’ on the morning of February 17, which will feature schoolchildren leading a ‘mini’ version of the parade.
And for those who love dancing, Loulé’s party venue Salão de Festas will host a Carnaval Gala on February 20 at 10pm.
Albufeira “doubles the fun”
In the town of Albufeira, the special occasion will be celebrated with the traditional Carnaval ‘Baile’ (dance) at the Espaço Multiusos de Albufeira (EMA) between February 18 and 21.
The party will be held between 9pm and 3am on the first three days, encouraging visitors to dress up and dance the night away. A matinée is planned for the final day between 2pm and 8pm, and will include a costume contest for children aged 12 and under.
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