Of course, there's the food festival in the Plazuela Machado (better to go
Monday or Tuesday in the mid- to late-afternoon hours to beat the crowds).
Bands and food booths are in abundance at Olas Altas all week of Carnaval.
Mexicans celebrate Carnaval more than tourists, and I believe it is too bad.
I think it is the fault of North Americans living in Mazatlán year-round warn-
ing tourists of huge crowds and noise. Carnaval is a fiesta, not a drunken brawl.
It is masses of people having a good time. In the States we have no problem
fighting the crowds at the State Fairs, Fourth of July fireworks demonstrations,
and the many state and national inaugural balls. It's the same in Mazatlán.
I only provide the following warnings. Don't try to drive downtown to Olas
Altas for the fireworks demonstration or the street dancing. Take the bus
downtown. If you don't leave for the bus stop immediately following the fire-
works display you may miss the last bus. If you don't want to take the bus back
to the tourist area, walk north about two miles to the Fisherman's Monument
where many taxis are available.
Many expats head out of town or plan at-home activities during Carnaval
week. My plans are to stay in town and enjoy the festivities.
From October through December, baseball or beisbol, Mexican style is the
thing to see. The place to see the local Los Venados play is at the baseball stadi-
um. As you ride down the Malecón just look for the bright lights of the field--
away from the ocean of course! For the price of a very cheap seat you get to
drink cheap ice-cold Pacifico beer, and people-watch families and kids having
a great time and cheering on the local team. There were times when we were
the only gringos seated in the area, but people were fun and friendly, and every-
one had a great time. Games with their archrivals in Culiacan always guaran-
tee a big turnout. In many ways it is the same as in the States, but there are so
many delightful variations! Especially the cheerleaders!
The Venados are in a winter league that is at the AAA minor league level of
play. They always have a few Americans on the team. The American players are
usually housed in the homes of families in Mazatlán.
This game is unique in that it is over 3,600 years old and is played only in
the state of Sinaloa--for the fun of it. Some exhibition games are offered for
tourists throughout Central America--much like cultural dances. The game
was derived from the Aztec religion and was played for centuries, until it grad-
ually faded away.
Char les A. Hall