Mazatlan CarnavalMazatlan tourism officials are urging travel agents to think outside the box when it comes to booking clients' Mardi Gras/Carnaval vacations.
The city on Mexico's Pacific coast hosts one of the world's largest pre-Lenten celebrations each year.

More than 600,000 people attended Mazatlan's Carriage Float Parade, the largest event during Carnaval, and officials forecast as many or more will attend this year.

The theme of the 2014 event, set for Feb. 27 to March 4, is "The Skin of the Sea," an allusion to the fact that the best Carnaval celebrations take place in cities along the seacoast. Many of Mazatlan's events take place along its oceanfront Malecon and within the city's Centro Historico district.

The first recorded Carnaval in Mazatlan took place in 1848, but it was not until 50 years later that the event took its present form and the first Carnaval queen was crowned.

Mazatlan's Carnaval also has a king, but it is the queen who is the superstar of the entire six-day event.

Coronations take place in the city's baseball stadium, accompanied by fireworks, confetti cannons, samba dancers and a concert.

New this year will be a show celebrating carnival in Cuba as well as light and laser shows that will complement Carnaval's other entertainment. Among the highlights: a bullfight, street festivals and the Muestra Gastronomica, an outdoor food festival that takes place every afternoon in the city center.

Most hotels offer Carnaval de Mazatlan packages.
 

For details, visit www.gomazatlan.com.

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