Festivities, floats  and lots of fancy dress

Carnival fever will be taking over the Algarve this weekend from today (Friday) until February 16 as towns and cities host their colourful annual parades with Latin rhythms, dancers, costumes and themed floats.

The biggest and brightest celebrations in the Algarve can be found in Loulé, when each year the Câmara closes off part of the centre of the city to allow a cortege of fantasy floats and marching bands to parade through Avenida José da Costa Mealha.

Thousands of visitors flock to Loulé every year to marvel at the region’s miniature ‘Rio de Janeiro’ parade.

This year’s theme for the city is the world of showbiz, so visitors can expect to see risqué costumes, Fado, illusionism, Samba dancers and 15 ostentatiously decorated floats.

The parade, which also includes political satire based this year on the economic crisis, will run from Sunday until Tuesday from 3pm each day.

Renowned Portuguese singer and actor Angélico Vieira will be drawing the crowds to the eastern Algarve as he takes on the role of Carnival King in Vila Real de Santo António’s (VRSA) parade this year.

The parade, which is dedicated to the theme of the Seventh Art, is due to take place from 3pm through the streets of VRSA on Sunday and again at the same time in Monte Gordo on February 16.

Local school children will be parading through Praça Marquês de Pombal in VRSA, near Monte Gordo Casino and in Largo Manuel Cabanas in Vila Nova de Cacela today (Friday) from 10am until midday.

Masquerade balls will also take place at the António Aleixo Cultural Centre in VRSA from tomorrow (Saturday) until Monday.

Portuguese style

Lagos will be celebrating carnival this year with a children’s parade along the city’s main Avenida dos Descobrimentos today from 10am. This will be followed by a number of masquerade balls throughout the council.

Meanwhile, Albufeira council will celebrate carnival with a stress free themed parade in Paderne tomorrow

Loulé hosts the biggest and brightest Carnival parade of the region
Loulé hosts the biggest and brightest Carnival parade of the region

and on Tuesday from 3pm until 6pm.

According to a Câmara statement: “This is a true Portuguese carnival, full of colour and joy, which, year after year, captivates thousands of visitors who are looking for traditional fun.”

For full details of Carnival parades and other events across the region, please see our What’s On section.