La Vega carnival is celebrated each Sunday in February.
This event brings to this city thousands of tourists each year. This carnival is considered to be the best in the country and the Caribbean.
Carnival in La Vega is one of the oldest and most traditional carnivals celebrated in the Dominican Republic. Some researchers claim that the first carnival celebrations were held in La Vega Vieja (the old city of La Vega) as far back as 1520, when residents of La Vega dressed themselves as Muslims and Christians and participated in festivities that eventually became the modern-day carnival. Every Sunday during carnival season, the streets of La Vega are filled with visitors and lame devils parading about town.
The popular carnival in La Vega allows participation of registered groups known as comparsas. These groups are well organized and many have participated together for many years. The groups can include from 10 to 15 people and sometimes many more. The traditional costumes are carefully sewn months in advance and are very elaborate and colorful. The masks from La Vega are unmistakable because they are extremely frightening, many times grotesque and very elaborate. They are highly decorated with rhinestones and feathers. They generally have bulging eyes with bloodshot veins and rows upon rows of sharp fangs that seem to sprout out of their menacing, scowling mouths. The horns are short and can be as many as 3 on either side.
The Dominican Republic African heritage is reflected in the wildly colourful masks and costumes at La Vega Carnival. You will find merengue and salsa dancing at all the parades.