On one of the other boards, there was a response to the various requests about carnival and how to deal with it. I answered as well on this and wanted to share it with you.
QUOTE ...While the local populace is (in general broad strokes) a quiet people, they are also the exact opposite when carnival is here. Carnival is the letting go of frustrations and turning it all to fun and exhibitionism in a controlled manner. It is a time when bankers and carpenters walk side by side of political and religious ministers all dressed in a (normally garish) costumes that portray the theme of their group.
Carnival is when the people rich, poor, businesses or private, bid for spots along the carnival route to be able to place their trailers or small lean-too's so that they can gather with those they choose and watch the grand parade go by. It is a time of fun, laughter, and abandonment. It is a time of music, dancing and perhaps most important - a time of equality and "sameness".
That said, it is also a time when people tend to over indulge in the delicious cold beers and other drinks. and in this mood of "release" it happens that the obnoxious side of humanity sneaks out. If this happens close to you, walk away quickly.
There will be many police on the streets. They are there to maintain order but the principal reason for them being there is to control the crowds from jumping into the parade. The excitement of it all makes it seem as if joining is the natural thing to do.
If you are here during that time with family or friends, I recommend renting a cell phone from one of the many listed companies. Before going to the parade, put in the number of the Taxi central in the memory area and perhaps even the number of the resort where you are staying. Reason? If you get separated it will be the life line of communication. Should this happen, and you are asked where you are, do not give the name of a street sign. Look for the tallest building around you (can be a tree or tall anything) and stay there and let them know that is where you are. Tall things are easier to find in a crowd.
Bring as many water bottles or containers as you feel comfortable carrying while walking about. It is HOT HOT HOT out there.
Wear tennis shoes and not sandals - don't forget socks
Put on suntan lotion
Wear a baseball cap. Brightly colored if possible.
If you are in a group, try to wear a similar t-shirt or something in common so that if you ask someone you can point to the shirt or bright hat as a reference.
Lastly, if you are with kids, keep them close to you and never let them out of sight. The crowds are massive and kids get lost. Treat kids as if they were a gift from God - because they are.