Ten… Nine… Eight… Seven…
We´re in Plaza Santa Ana, gobbling down grapes and counting down to midnight.
Six… Five… Four…
Juan, who´s already given up on stuffing grapes in his mouth, has a bottle of champagne in hand and ready to pop once the rest of us finish.
Three… Two… One…
Happy New Year!
It´s New Year´s Even in Las Palmas… in August?
Campanadas de Verano
¨The Chimes of Summer¨
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria began celebrating the now tradional Campanadas de Verano (The Chimes of Summer) in 2011, and it´s grown bigger and better with every passing year. Last year there were over 15,000 people!
When: Annually on 14th August, from 13:00 til … well, till the next day
Where: Vegueta – the historic center in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
How much: 2€ entry, including a caña or soft drink
(Video by Acusticanarios)
So, Why is Campanadas de Verano
A New Year´s Eve Party?
Canarians love a good theme party, so when they say Las Campanadas de Verano is a New Year´s Party, they mean it! From the clothes and the cava to the turrón and twelve grapes, this is an authentic nochevieja in the heart of summer.
The idea is to celebrate the ¨new year¨ – the new year of classes, the newly arrived Erasmus students at ULPGC, and (not so) newly exhausted parents eager to send their little ones back to school. It’s a way of saying a preliminary goodbye to summer, and to look forward to what the “new year” has in store!
As a teacher, I´m totally guilty of referring to ¨next year¨ and ¨last year¨ with the start of September as my marker, so this party is definitely right up my alley 😉
What to Know Before You Go:
Get Lost at the Campanadas de Verano
The party takes over the entire historic barrio of Vegueta, from Plaza de la Rana to Plaza Santa Ana, and all of the pedestrian streets going toward Calle Mendezibal (where the weekly Tapas Thursday takes place).
The main stage is set in Plaza Santa Ana, filled to the brim with singing, dancing and live music. At midnight, the countdown begins. But as is Spanish tradition, that doesn´t mean a New Year´s kiss. Instead, it means stuffing 12 grapes in your mouth for good luck, one for each chime of the clock as it counts down to the ¨New Year¨.
What to Wear
The tradition is to wear black or white. It’s not really a requirement to get fancy, but most people from their mid-twenties on try to look good, while the under-20 crew use the standard go-to of white tanks and short shorts for summer festivals.
It´ll be hot if you arrive early, and while the evening may be a bit chilly, you won´t be as long as you´re dancing and in the center of the action (and if you’re not, you’re doing it wrong 😉).
The streets are packed and you´ll be boogying, so if you bring a bag you´re better off with one that crosses over your body and closes securely.
And if you have any leftover New Year tiarras or party horns, now´s the time to use ´em!
Food & Drinks
From 13:00 there are food trucks selling the usual variety of treats, as well as the countless bars and restaurants in the area which will all be open and serving.
In previous years, local bars set up stalls and chiringuitos all around the city like during Carnaval del día, but in 2018 the town hall decided to get their prohibition on at the last minute, swapping the bars out for tables and benches, apparently trying to get people to buy their booze from within the event barriers 🙄👎.
Needless to say the local businesses were not stoked on this, so we´ll see what this coming year has in store.
Entrance to Plaza Santa Ana
As of 2018, this once free event now comes with a pricetag of 2€ to enter Plaza Santa Ana. The whopping 2 bucks buys you entrance to see the live music performances, a wrist band to enter and exit at will, a bag of grapes to gobble down at midnight and a coupon that you can exchange for a caña or a coke.
We first arrived at 18:00 and didn´t want to deal with the line, so we spent a few hours pre-partying on Calle Mendezibal thinking we’d slide in later.
When we finally made our way to the plaza, the line at Calle Espíritu Santo on the south of the cathedral wrapped around for days and it looked like we would never make it in. Luckily I remembered seeing another entrance at Calle Obispo Codina at the north, so we swung by to check it out and while there was a line, it was much more reasonable.
Pro-tip: Buy your entry ticket as soon as you get to Vegueta so as not to wait in the longer lines at night. There were definitely some poor suckas still waiting in the line while we were guzzling our grapes and cava at midnight.
The Before & After Parties
We showed up around 18:00 and the streets were already packed.
Many people BYOB in the early afternoon and get their botellón on before heading into the mainstage at Plaza Santa Ana. Others wander in and out of the many local bars and restuarants.
As the party in the plaza began to wind down around 1:00, the crowds made a bee-line back to Calle Mendezibal, The Paper Club and La Azoteoa de Benito. I danced myself dizzy by three and when I snuck off in the taxi, there was no end in sight to the party around me.
Parking is a huge bummer (not to mention pretty expensive in Vegueta) so hop on the bus! City bus lines 1, 12, 17, 33 and 91 will get you there, as will several Global Buses. If you hop off at the Teatro stop, there´s a Spar supermarket right next door if you want to pick up snacks and drinks.
The night buses (L1, L2 and L3) will be running late and more often, as on the weekend schedule. A taxi to Santa Catalina or Las Canteras area will usually cost you about 6 euros.
Cobble-stoned, colonial Vegueta is the most picturesque part of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and there´s plenty on offer all year round, both culturally and in terms of a good party. Be sure to check out some of these lively Vegueta events:
Nov 1: La Noche de Finaos (Canarian Halloween)
Sep. 23: Romería de Vegueta
Questions? Comments? You know what to do 👇.
And as always, party on,