Arts & Entertainment

Majesty, fantasy in final Barranquilla Carnival parade

By Hugo Correa

Barranquilla, Colombia, Feb 20 (EFE).- The Comparsas of Popular Tradition and Fantasy magnified Monday’s third and final day of parades at the Vía 40 Cumbiódromo as part of Colombia’s popular Carnival of Barranquilla.

The festival was in 2003 proclaimed by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity and this year, 117 groups including Marimondas, Negritas Puloy, Monocucos and Comparsas de Fantasia, as well as individual and collective costumes, gave life to one of the most spectacular shows of the most important celebration in Colombia.

Along a 4-kilometer route to the sounds of diverse rhythms ranging from samba, salsa, reggaeton, champeta, cumbia, porro, mapalé, son de negro and merecumbé, participants from along the Colombian Caribbean were applauded by a delighted crowd.

As in the other carnival activities, the queen of the festivities, Natalia De Castro, and King Momo Sebastián Guzmán, spread their joy by dancing to the music that flooded the outdoor stage.

As part of the Rumbón Normalista, a group of more than 150 dancers dressed in orange fantasy costumes who stood out for their synchronized movements, 14-year-old Andrea greeted with joy those who applauded from the boxes.

“For 25 years the group has been participating in the carnival and in 16 [of them] we won the Congo de Oro,” said the teenager, who knows very well the history of this troupe made up of students, teachers and parents from the Normal Superior School La Hacienda de Barranquilla.

Originally from Galapa, a town in the metropolitan area of Barranquilla, the comparsa Selva Africana included dancers with bodies painted as tigers, lions and leopards, and costumes of elephants, gorillas, giraffes and rhinos.

Alfredo Gómez, who has danced for 35 of the 50 years that Selva Africana has been at the carnival, said that “the tradition will not be lost because every year more children and young people join the group.”

In addition to the parades, the Carnival of Barranquilla also celebrates the meeting of laughter, music, theater, storytellers and dance groups who come to experience the party in a different way.

On Tuesday, thousands of people from Barranquilla will gather to bid farewell to the festival with tears, laughter and revelry after four days spent enjoying the most popular carnival in Colombia. EFE


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