The Carnival Festivities of the city of Leon were reinstated in the mid-80s after being prohibited for many years, and now are now one of the most popular events in the city thanks to the high level of participation of all those involved.
A multitude of activities take place during the carnival in a programme designed to please children, young people, families and the elderly: festivals, parades, street theatre, fire-running, street music, popular dances and orchestras turn the city centre and every district into a place where the carnival is lived intensely.
The quality of design of the costumes and the candidates to the prizes of Prince and Princess of the Carnivals are just two of the features of an event that attracts one and all. The big event “Carnival with the Family” is another unmissable event, especially for the kids. An entire afternoon and evening are prepared just for them, and the Palacio de Deportes is filled with music, educational workshops, children’s theatre and competitions.
Carnival Saturday is the day chosen for Leon to celebrate the Competition of Individuals, Groups, Floats and Dance Troupes, who parade through the city centre in an interminable procession full of colour and imagination. Participation in the event and the overall quality have increased with every year and the jury find it ever more difficult to decide who the winner is. Everyone goes out onto the streets to applaud the hard work of the participants, who have spent months on designing and making the most fantastic costumes imaginable.
Leon Drag Night is another fun event held during the carnival, and the Drag Queen Competition and the awards ceremony of the Carnivals are celebrated in the Plaza Mayor.
To finish off the carnival, people participate in the Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine). This event culminates the wake held from the beginning of the Carnival in the Barrio Húmedo. It is a recent addition to the carnival, but has quickly become one of the most popular events amongst the locals, who are the ones who really make the festival what it is, where fun and laughter reign.