At Loulé Carnival, even the “Monkey” is on the loose

The carnival parade will take place on the 11th, 12th and 13th of February

Photo: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação

Teamwork, a lot of imagination and good disposition, but without losing concentration. This is how another edition of the Loulé Carnival is being prepared, which will take place in this city, on the 11th, 12th and 13th of February.

This Wednesday, the 7th, the Armazém do Carnaval, where the 14 floats for the carnival parade that will run along Avenida José da Costa Mealha are being finalized, hosted the presentation of this party.

The 14 workshop employees, coordinated by Paulo Madeira “Palhó”, responsible for organizing and designing the dolls, are busy gluing flowers, assembling dolls and decorating floats, to finalize the last details by today, Friday. .

One of the people dedicated to doing this work is Libânia Coelho, who has worked on preparing the Loulé Carnival for 25 years.

But it was long before that that this party entered his life.

«Before I got married, I drove cars for many years. I like the festivities, I like the fun, the games, I like everything», he told Sul Informação.

It is to ensure that today's revelers have fun that this Loulé native and other city employees have been working for months. And there was more time…


Libânia Coelho – Photo: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação


Palhó recalled the difficulties and short time it took to make the cars, between Christmas and New Year, which made the process a “little stressful”.

«We have the physical conditions, in terms of materials, and the physical space is excellent. The Chamber gives us all these conditions. But then, human resources failed, because we needed three or four carpenters: we only have one and the other, who is on leave. And then we have a locksmith and we needed a couple of them. This is the biggest difficulty we have here,” he explained.

What is never lacking, when preparing floats and the elements that compose them, is imagination.

And, of course, there is always the concern of satirizing personalities and portraying current affairs.

This year, for example, the media focus is on “Operation Praetorian”, which involves “Macaco”, the nickname of Fernando Madureira, leader of the Super Dragões, the FC Porto cheer squad.

Even before this police operation, the creative team was already designing the car in which the “Monkey” appeared on the shoulder of the president of FC Porto.

«We are always current. Initially, the car had to do with the dispute for dream chair between Pinto da Costa and Villas-Boas. However, this case appeared. Naturally, now the characters involved gain a prominent place in this race», according to Palhó.

António Costa, Pedro Nuno Santos, Cristiano Ronaldo, António Guterres and Mário Centeno will be some of the characters who will be present at the corso, as they have made an impact on national and international life.

As for the theme of the race, this year, it is “Discovering the SDGs”.

«It's playing with something very serious, but that's what Carnival is. The United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs], which call on the world to change many things in our day-to-day lives, on different levels, and we are going to play with that. Because it is an obvious way of taking such important information, from a perspective of fun and games, to thousands of citizens», explained the president of the Chamber Vítor Aleixo, in the presentation of the event.


Photo: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação


Around 80 people are expected to attend the three days of the festival, with the municipality's hope that «they will have fun in what is a faithful party and in the best tradition of Loulé Carnival».

In the streets, in addition to many revelers, there will be 14 floats with 600 extras, in an organization involving 100 people. The planned budget is 470 thousand euros.

However, the return to the city is higher, «due to the dynamics it causes, which it generates in local commerce, restaurants, hotels, in those small street vending economies that are established in these three days, here during the Loulé Carnival. They are small families, small economies, they all earn a lot. The biggest return from Carnival is the impact it has on the local economy», highlighted Vítor Aleixo.

This year, there is an increased concern about environmental sustainability, which is increasingly present. The new thing is that it will be possible, for the first time in the history of this Carnival, to calculate «what is the carbon footprint that this event will generate in Loulé over these three days».

Direct box office revenue will be donated to local associations and communities that participate in the parade and also to charitable causes.

Along with Loulé, Alte and Quarteira will also have their own parades, where there is, above all, «significant spontaneous popular participation».

In addition to the parade, on the night of Monday, the 12th, at the Loulé Party Hall, the traditional Gala Ball will take place, this year with the motto “In pursuit of the SDGs”.

The children's Carnival was canceled due to weather conditions, but the rain is expected to allow the biggest carnival parade in the south of the country to take place.


Photos and text from: Cátia Rodrigues, who is a finalist for the Master's in Communication and Digital Media at the University of Algarve and is doing her internship at Sul Informação.



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