Mikkel and I have not received much sleep the last 3 nights and don’t expect to for the next 2 due to Carnival. The partying starts in the morning around 10am and continues on to the next morning at about 3am with loud music, fireworks, etc. We have tried to take advantage of the less loud afternoons and take a siesta as many others do who live here or are fortunate enough to have a place to stay outside the immediate area of the townsquare. Unfortunately we live about a 1/2 block around the corner from a cantina which has boosted it’s music box so loud that sometimes we can’t even hear ourselves talk. I don’t mind when tipico music is played, but because of carnival, the cantina is crowded with more younger customers than usual. So much of the music is Spanish rap with the bass turned up to the max. I am not really complaining, just making observations.I know Carnival is only 5 days every year. Being our first year living in Pedasí, I take it all in stride and consider it another adventure.
Every day Pedasí draws a bigger crowd, mostly out-of-towners; lots of young people in their 20’s and 30’s; and lots of families with children. One can hardly walk through the townsquare at noontime; children (and adults) spraying super soaker water guns at anyone passing by; water drenching the crowds from the hoses off the water trucks. T-shirts, hats, and toys advertising various sponsors and political candidates are thrown from the top of the water trucks. Many come early to plot out a spot with their folding chairs and coolers filled with ice, beer, and soda. Loud music blares from huge speakers placed in different areas, or from car stereos that are fortunate to park nearby. Several tents display various items for sale. There are many food vendors, some serving a variety of cooked dishes over the bar under a canopy, some from their BBQ grills which line the streets, some from their carts which are pushed through the crowds. And lots of cerveza! Everyone seems to be having a good time.
I have been walking over to the townsquare twice a day mostly to observe and take pictures, not just for myself, but to give a vivid description what Carnival is like to my family, friends, and blog followers back in the states and elsewhere as well as those friends here in who choose to avoid the craziness. Mikkel comes with me most of the time, but doesn’t like crowds and standing around waiting for the parade to start so I can take pictures. The parades seem to arrive a little later than the day and night before. Last night it started at 1am. Families pay thousands of dollars for their daughters and their costumes to be on the floats as queens or princesses. Fundraising events throughout the year bring in money to pay for the biggest event of the year. I heard this year about 1 million dollars was spent.
I am posting pictures highlighting Saturday night through Monday morning and will post the remainder after the end of Carnival (Ash Wednesday). Hope you can get a feel for what Carnival is like.