Monday, February 20, 2012

Desfile de Bachata (the Sunday parade)

We took a day off from Carnaval yesterday, but wandered out again today for the Bachata Parade, a mid-day parade.  (I'm not sure what "Bachata" means...does anyone know?)  We watched the parade on Calle 60 near the Parque de la Madre and the Jesuit Church, in roughly the same spot we had for the night parade on Friday. It was sunny and hot out, and there were plenty of umbrellas to create a little shade for people in the chairs and bleachers.
I don't know what the crowd was like further north on Montejo (where the stages, beer tents, and food stalls are set up), but it was a calm family affair in this stretch of C. 60 just as it has been for other parades.  Some of the kids took the wait in stride, but some were less able to handle the anticipation. There were more great costumes and lots of energy from the paraders even though it was hot and we were near the end of the parade route. Everybody was all smiles....paraders, spectators, young, and old. This parade was longer than the others that we have seen, and even though we had seen some of the costumes in earlier parades as well, this one was a big success.  Some photos from the parade are below.  Enjoy!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday Night Parade...

Ok, so we went and watched the parade tonight to see what all the fuss was about and WOW! we were not disappointed. We choose a table at a restaurant that was front row on the street against the rail and had dinner while we people watched and waited for the parade to pass by.
There is only paid seating all along this part of the route of the parade and the bleachers across the street quickly filled up with excited teenagers and families.

The parade started and it wasn't long before we were on our feet clapping, cheering, waving and dancing to the music.
It was a warm night with a cool breeze but dancing from the top of Montejo all the way down to the Main Square in those costumes must have been exhausting.


Everyone had a great time and there was everything in the parade from small children's groups to the elderly groups, bands, dancers, and stilt-walkers, and all were 'workin it' all the way along the parade route.


 ...and yes the 'Sol Girls' and muscle boys did not disappoint...Here are a few photos we chose as there were MANY to choose from....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our first (Merida) carnaval!

We arrived early this morning on the Aeromexico flight from Mexico City...a little tired, but glad to be back.  The morning involved breakfast, a grocery run for the weekend, and then a nap.  By the afternoon, I was ready to go out and see what Merida's Carnaval was all about!

Today was the day of the Children's Parade.  The parade begins at 4 p.m. near the Plaza Grande, and by 2:30 the streets were packed with families, tourists, and food and trinket vendors.  The streets are lined up and down both sides with chairs, and there really isn't any place where you can just stand to watch.  Given my non-existent Spanish, I watched the crowd long enough to figure out that you could buy tickets from the ladies in the orange shirts (30 pesos), and that if they were selling tickets in a particular spot then there were seats left there.  I bought a ticket (on the left side of the picture below) and settled in!
The parade was excellent.  There was a cool breeze and you could see from all the faces that everyone was having a great time, adults and kids alike.  I was completely charmed.  The costumes were surprisingly elaborate, and the paraders (at least most of them) seemed to love being in the show.

The rest of the week's parades aren't likely to be able to match this one for its ability to make a person smile, but I'm looking forward to them all the same.  Until then, some pictures from today's parade are below.