BREAKING: No Carnival in Panama next year

Archive photo by Calle Arriba Las Tablas.

2021 Carnival is off, tourism restart delayed

There will not be a carnival,” Health Minister Luis Francisco Sucre said on the Debate Abierto morning television talk show. “Let’s not think about carnival for now. We are focused on everyone’s health and seeing how we reactivate the economy.”

Carnival is, however, a major annual economic event for Panama. Some have criticized President Cortizo for failing to cancel this year’s event, when world news clearly suggested that the COVID-19 epidemic would probably be coming our way.

It’s not just the parades and revelry in Las Tablas and several other places, nor the more low-keyed celebrations in places that don’t much value drunken crowds or lewd public displays. The huge exodus to quiet family outings by the beach or in the mountains may also be downsized. Smaller, family-oriented side events like the Antillean Fair are also likely threatened.

The cancellation is a blow to  the tourism industry, but it may also prevent some petty crimes and traffic mishaps.


The bus terminal ought to be a little less crowded. Archive photo by Eric Jackson.


Will the Transito cops miss the busy long weekend? Archive photo by Eric Jackson.


We have yet to hear from the Society of Friends of the Afro-Antillean Museum of Panama (SAMAAP), but their annual Carnival Saturday and Sunday Antillean Fair seems endangered as well. Archive photo by Eric Jackson.

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