El Carnivala de Puebla is an unbelievably lively and colorful festival and parade to celebrate Mexico’s 1862 victory at the Battle of Puebla.It’s one of Philly’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations, which takes place annually the weekend BEFORE May 5th.We had an absolute ball immersing ourselves in this beautiful culture! The festival is free, open, and welcoming to all!There were four fab bands, including a few straight from Mexico and a couple of traditional dance acts as well.
I personally couldn’t take my eyes off of the costumes and garb! The colors, the jewels, the gems, the embroidery!! Every ornate detail was just incredible!! The faces on the masks depicting ancient heroes and the large headpieces were also fantastic!
Of course, the traditional fare was plentiful! There were tacos, al pastor, duros de harina (Mexican pinwheel chips), elote (Mexican street corn), freshly baked conchas (Mexican sweet bread), mango on a stick, pina coladas in the pineapple and more!
Local South Philly fave Los Gallo’s was on hand also!
Hubs and I indulged in one of our favorite Mexican treats, a chamoyada, which is a sweet and spicy blended fruit drink comprised of pineapple and mango, hot sauce, and a tamarind straw for $7.
We enjoyed the people watching, as well as watching local Mexican boys playing a game of soccer.For the kids, there were toy vendors, including those with bubble guns making the atmosphere in the park extra fun. There was a jungle gym located at the playground, as well as a bounce house and a baby bull they could ride! The ride and house were $5 per child.There were a few vendors with some Mexican goods including skulls, rosaries, prayer cards, and Aztec and Mayan ceramic pieces.
We really LOVED the highlight of the festival, which was the parade!! The parade starts at 16th & Washington at noon and would up at Sacks Playground (400 Washington Avenue) around 2:30 pm!
The festivities went on until 6 pm!
There were horses, drummers, and dancers. We also saw many different mesmerizing costumes, including ones with stuffed coyotes, raccoons, and owls on their backs! We even saw live exotic birds! The participants were friendly and grabbed onlookers (including me) to dance with them!
So. Much. Fun!
We’re definitely putting this one on the radar again for next year, and would suggest you do too! It’s such a wonderful way to teach your kiddos first hand about this colorful culture! We kept referring to it as the “Mexican Mummers”. They put THAT much thought into their troops! It was really an incredible experience! There were so much energy and positivity today! What an awesome festival!