Tuesday night saw an emotional, glittering Grand Finale to Cozumel Carnival for 2011.

Thousands of party-loving locals and tourists turned out on "Mardis Gras" to dance in the streets and watch the booming seafront parade.

 

Jubilant Carnival 2011 King and Queen, Nando Morej├│n and Zaida Elimar Espinosa, proudly danced atop their float, waving to the screaming masses as they paraded up and down the seafront.

Carnival in Cozumel
Colorful parades.

 

When the parades came to an end, attention was turned to partying in the downtown parks, including a spectacular live performance by top latin music stars Los Internacionales Joao.

Once the last Carnival beads and confetti had been cleaned up from Tuesday's parties and parades, Cozumel's main square was packed again, last night, for the official closing ceremony.

Prizes were presented to outstanding Carnival participants, from groups of children to teachers and animals.

Finally, as the last songs of the Carnival came to an end, a fire was lit in the main downtown square to burn the traditional effigy of Juan Carnaval.

 

Cozumel Carnaval
Glittering Grand Finale.

Cozumel Carnival 2012
Burning of Juan Carnaval.

 

Watching it go up in flames, tired but happy, Cozumele├▒os reluctantly said goodbye to the spirit of Carnival for another year.

Locals and visitors alike will look back fondly on this week of fun, rhythm and madness in 2011 - and already they're looking forward to even more glamor and mayhem in Cozumel Carnival 2012!

(Top 3 photos courtesy of Cozumel Municipal Government.)

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