Carnaval finished this year with a whimper or a sigh. I’ll tell more at the end of this post. But here are a few pictures that I thought you’d like to see… and I also want to encourage you to go to Mexico at Last and read this post about last Saturday night. Paul and I shared the evening with them and I love the pictures they took of the crowds we encountered on our way home from the fireworks party! Amazing.
I love the picture above of the stage with a group playing. Below you’ll see that there is a beer stand! Way to multi-task, I should say! This is one of 8 or 9 stages, and they all are playing full blast. See the huge speakers?
Last night was a gorgeous night. Below is a picture of one of the most lovely sunsets we’ve seen in a while. We were chatting with friends a few minutes after the sun went down and it turned out he had seen the green flash tonight! I keep waiting, but I haven’t seen one yet.
We waited with a subdued crowd for the parade to reach Centro. There are two parades each year – one on Sunday that goes from the Fisherman’s Monument North to Valentino’s, and the Tuesday one that goes from the Aquarium, South to Olas Altas. They have the same floats and people. The one on Tuesday is usually a bit lower energy as everyone has partied all week, but there is usually a big jolt of enthusiasm as they enter Olas Altas. The picture below shows the scene last night.
The first part of the parade is the sponsor (Pacifico) and commercial vendors. Sabritas, Señor Frogs, Ford, some radio stations, Coca Cola, Bimbo, and others bring their floats through and pretty girls toss goodies to the crowd. I can’t remember how many of the regular floats came through before there was a flood of people running our way. It was most surely a panic situation – we asked someone what happened and they said that shots had been fired.
I’ve never witnessed a panic like that – people running, some acting quite distraught. We stayed and watched, ready to leave but reluctant to join those leaving without having some real information. After a few minutes the parade started up again, but I noticed how sparsely the floats were populated. Usually they are full of handsome young people waving to the crowd.
The floats that came by were all but deserted.
It felt sad. We’d read in the paper just that morning that Carnaval had brought in 50% of the expected revenue for all the vendors.
We left and went to eat dinner in the Plazuela Machado since they complained about sales being down, also. When we got home we checked the news and found out that quite a ways North of where we were – somewhere around Hotel Aquamarina – rocks had hit a metal door or someone shot off some fireworks. Someone said that it was gunfire and panic ensued. People ran and hid. People jumped off the floats and some tractor drivers left, too.
It took a few minutes for everyone to discover there were no shots and reassemble the parade and get going again. But the domino effect kept up and the panic carried itself all the way to Olas Altas. The Carnaval participant below has become separated from the rest of his tribe…
We’ve had several serious incidents in the last few months here that involve the drug cartels, and people are jumpy. It is believed that this has kept a lot of people away from Carnaval this year, and it is really too bad. This was a case of someone sounding an alarm that basically ruined the last Carnaval parade and gave a very sad note to the end of the celebration.
But I can’t end on that note. I love the boy on the horse below, don’t you?
Sorry about the last few pictures having spots on them, I think the dial on my camera got moved by accident.