The Maspalomas Town Council (San Bartolomé de Tirajana) this Thursday ordered the closure of two outdoor Carnival street party areas, which use mobile beach bars usually called “Chiriguitos”, but for some reason renamed “chiringays” by the organisers, which were located within two private parking areas at ​​the famous Yumbo Shopping Centre (in front of a well-known restaurant), prior to the celebration of the Maspalomas International Carnival for “lacking authorisations and organising a parallel carnival” .

The town hall has explained in a statement that these two areas “lack authorisation for the installation and their potential development of the activity they have announced, in addition to not being included in the Carnival Security Plan.” According to a poster that has been circulating over recent days on social networks, the “Chiringays” planned to celebrate seven parties, some even during the daytime, with DJs and music performances, though it seems none of this was ever authorised or licensed.

A picture from a well-run chiringuito

In previous years, pre-covid, the usual space for these so-called, and derisively named, “chiringays” was a space “ceded by the Yumbo Shopping Centre to the City Council and, therefore, they were included in the self-protection plan and were part of the activities of the Carnival itself. Currently, that space is private and managed by a third party, which has unilaterally decided to organise a parallel carnival with a parallel program of events” explained the Councillor for Security, Samuel Henríquez.

Therefore, these beach bars installed in both private areas “do not have the relevant authorisation, and also hinder the security of the shopping centre and the organisation of the Carnival,” the councillor added.

The Promotion Department of the San Bartolomé de Tirajana Town Council was consulted, and said that the municipal technician reported unfavourably to the request made by the owners, due to not having the mandatory documentation required for public shows regulated in Law 7/2011 of April 5 on classified activities and public shows and other complementary administrative measures; and development regulations.

“The interest of the City Council is to guarantee the safety of the entities participating in the Carnival, both our neighbours and the multitude of people who visit us these days,” explained Henríquez, adding that “for the first time in history, The Maspalomas International Carnival has been carried out in a regulated manner, putting all activities out to public tender, from beach bars, health coverage, private security plan, self-protection plan, etc.”

The Town Hall also put out to tender the chiringuitos for Maspalomas International Carnival in four lots – a total of 13 – whose adjudication generated some controversy among those who would usually benefit, who complained of the “excessive cost”.

Editor’s Comment:

The use of the word “Chiringay” is meant as some sort of joke, when a Chiringuito is placed near the LGBTQIA+ businesses of the Yumbo.  It is most certainly derogatory and probably discriminatory as well.  The business owners of the Yumbo will welcome the closing down of these particular bars which often lead to large groups of raucous, and sometimes violent, carnival goers intimidating the usual clientele of the Yumbo, and causing security problems for local businesses.  The smell of urine is also often palpable as large groups of drunk men appear to have inadequate potty training.

It should perhaps be remembered, as we approach this next local election year, that one of the main administrative tasks undertaken by the current administration was to try to regularise various elements of the contracting for major events in the area after several years whereby organisations appeared to have been selected without a proper tendering process, leading to some accusations of the previous AV-PP council having simply appointed people “by finger”.

The tripartite coalition currently in power in the San Bartolomé de Tirajana town hall have spent a lot of energy ensuring that fair and accountable processes are now in place to ensure the proper procedures will be followed in the future, as per applicable laws and local ordinance.

In the end that should mean a much better system of control over who organises major events in the future.

These 13 chiringuitos correctly and officially licensed for Carnival are located at the parking area by the main entrance to the Yumbo Shopping Centre, on Avenida de España