It is the most important festival in this town, being one of the most fascinating and organized of the country.
At the beginning of the 1930s, Bonao began to celebrate its street carnival in which young people and adults made their own costumes and masks and walked all around the neighborhood streets beginning at 10:00 in the morning.
By 1970, the traditional Roba de Gallina/Chicken Thief paraded around the neighborhoods begging for food and drink, chatting “The best supermarkets are here.” Hundreds of children and teens ran behind the character laughing and blowing whistles amid the sound of the rhythmic drumming.
In 1988 the Bonao Carnival Organization was formed and by the end of 1989 the first group, Los Charamicos, was created. Their area was on August 16 Street in the zone between Mella and Independence.
In 1990 the Organizing Committee of the Bonao Carnival (COCABO) was formed and the first groups also came to light: Charamicos, Caraduras, Selección 7, Truenos and Centellas, Cascarrabias and Zacatecas.
Each winter during Dominican Carnival season, Bonao's Carnival features unique characters from each part of the country. They celebrate by parading to the beat of the carnival groups on Sundays all throughout February.
Bonao’s main carnival character is Macarao whose traditional dress is made of satin, lamé and sequins with accessories including bells, ribbons, paper streamers and whistles. Their carts are made with the face of an animal.
The Bonao carnival begins the last Sunday of January and ends the second Sunday of March with a regional parade that unites the entire country’s carnival characters and floats.
The Queen of Carnival, Teen Queen and Momo King are chosen. This honor is overseen by a well-respected man of culture, a businessman or a politician from Bonao.
The first characters of the Bonao carnival were: Malín Bidó, the father of famous painter Cándido Bidó; Wilberto Deschamps (The Panther), Frank Terri, Lawless Juan, Libertado Cara e’ Gato, Gustavo La Vaca, among others.