The Colombian Carribbean city of Barranquilla crowned a new carnival queen Friday as it prepares for next year’s festivities.
22-year-old Andrea Jaramilo Char was selected as the 2012 Barranquilla carnival queen. Char has been involved with Barranquilla’s carnival since she was eight years old, and it is common for queens to have a long history with the carnival.
Char was delighted with her selection. As she was crowned she exclaimed, “This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to Barranquilla that they have a worthy representative of their culture. This will be a carnival world!”
Barranquilla’s carnival is one of the largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro’s and is perhaps Colombia’s most important festival. It has been declared by UNESCO to be one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”
During the carnival, Barranquilla’s normal activities are halted as all the streets are filled with dancers and revelers. Barranquilla is Colombia’s fourth largest city and a principal industrial port.
Barranquilla carnival queens are typically selected a year in advance to give them time to prepare for the festivities.