|La Ceiba's Carnival parade|
Update: The final big celebration and parade are scheduled for May 25, 2013. I'll post the schedule of events if and when I can get it.
When is the La Ceiba Carnival? That question pops up every year and every year I make fruitless attempts to find an answer including emailing the municipal tourism office. Oh, I know that Wikipedia used to say that it is the third week of May, but that has been corrected to "the third or fourth week of May". Besides, it is a two week event, though most people are referring to the last big day of the parade and all night partying when they speak of 'the carnival'.
I remember one year Ceiba's tourism office set up the dates about a month in advance....and then changed them at the last minute to start a week later. I felt sorry for anyone who had already arranged their vacation and bought plane tickets based on the previous calendar of events. Similarly, the big parade itself can be delayed for hours and hours due to disorganization or waiting on some dignitary to arrive.
Here are a few sites that I checked:
Honduras.com has the 2009 schedule
Honduras Tips gives the dates, but no year. The article isn't dated. It seems to be the 2012 schedule.
Hola Ceibita mentions the carnival but doesn't give the dates.
Let's go Honduras, a Ministry of Tourism website, doesn't even mention that there is a carnaval in La Ceiba. The main Ministerio de Tourismo website was no help either.
The official Ceiba tourism website, Visita La Ceiba, also doesn't mention that a Ceiba Carnaval exists.
The former official carnaval website has been turned into a dating website! "Meet here the most beautiful single Honduran girls!" I won't give the link, but if you accidentally find it, I believe that the schedule given is totally wrong as it gives the final parade date as a Thursday. The big parade is ALWAYS on a Saturday.
So, your guess is as good as mine. My guess for 2013 based on prior years is May 11 through 25, with the parade and big carnaval night being on Saturday, May 25.
Does anyone KNOW when the 2013 La Ceiba Carnaval is scheduled?
About the La Ceiba Carnival
If you like a wild party, you'll probably like La Ceiba's carnaval. The daytime parade is enjoyable, but increasingly has drawn crime and violence, probably due in no small part to the amount of drinking going on. La Ceiba's main street, San Isidro, is lined with bandstands and shows at night during the week or weeks leading up to the final big day when there is a band performing every block or so in the center of town.
The El Sauce neighborhood, which used to have one of the biggest neighborhood carnavalitos, has dropped out this year due to robberies and violence. El Jefe says that the amount of trash and bodily wastes and vomit left behind after the neighborhood carnivalitos was enough to make any patronato (neighborhood association) think hard about the decision.
El Jefe told me that Pizza Hut and Burger King, among others, just close down on that last day of carnaval due to the horrendous things done to their restrooms. They used to have a guard at the door and another "bathroom guard" to limit use of the bathrooms to customers, but it was to no avail.
But, hey, to each his own! If you like to party, you'll probably like La Ceiba's Carnival. If you aren't a partier, there is great local live television coverage of the parade on TV.
For older Carnaval related articles, see here.