The streets of Mindelo, with the beginning of Carnival , will be invaded by parades of kindergartens and elementary schools on the Cape Verdean island of São Vicente. Mindelo, the island's main city, is known to have the most colourful carnival of Cabo Verde and of the region.
Kings, queens, ballerinas, witches, punks and other characters, like every year, will took over the streets of São Vicente to mark the beginning of Carnival festivities, which will run until Ash Wednesday morning.
Pupils at the island's kindergartens and elementary schools normally leave the classroom and invade the main streets of Mindelo, with children and onlookers dancing and singing to the rhythm of the drums and sambas.
The festivities will be under the charge of organised groups from a number of São Vicente's neighbourhoods, as well as spontaneous people, all of them will assure a carnival worthy of Mindelo residents' expectations. These, however, are nothing but appetisers for the main festivities, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday nights.
The Mindelo Carnival is famous far beyond São Vicente island. Even in the Cabo Verdean capital Praia, which is always competing with Mindelo, it is recognised that the country's second city has the best and most famous carnival. In the February days, São Vicente for once is the centre of attention, with lots of national and international tourists travelling to, and if you plan to go be aware that finding a seat in the scheduled flights to s. Vicente could and will be very difficult.
Also internationally, the São Vicente Carnival is beginning to attract more attention. By now, it has become Africa's most known carnival, beating Bissau, Luanda and Maputo. In size, the Mindelo Carnival yet not can compete with the tourism event carnivals of Tenerife and Gran Canaria on the neighbouring Canary Islands, but it certainly can compete on authenticity, colour and livelihood.
Although planning is fierce, there is still space for spontaneity. José António Lopes confessed to 'A Semana Online': "We are now only waiting what surprises and qualities this Carnival will bring us." The President of the Carnival Commission of São Vicente explains that the teams normally start preparatory works in December.
With that said there’s time that a Carnival can be better than another and this depends solely in the finance raised during the year and for example if there will be elections expect a “less rich” carnival.