Tranquilo! Carnival is over!

After a whole night of celebrations, loud music, parades, and fireworks until 6 AM this morning, Carnival is officially over and maybe I can catch up on some sleep I have been depleted of for the last 5 days. I enjoy living in the pueblo, but we live about 2-3 blocks from where they shoot of the fireworks. Some of them shook our concrete walls and last night for the first time, Bella kept running around and barking at each boom. It is a spectacular view from our back yard though. I like that I could come home any time I chose to get a break from the crowds.
Pedasí certainly knows how to party, but this morning (Ash Wednesday), at 6AM, it turns back into the sleepy little town again. As I walked back from my Spanish Class located on the other side of town from my home, I observed the remnants of floats and beer stands being dismantled. The mounds of trash was being shoveled up into piles to be bagged and placed in trucks ready to haul away. It will probably be days before most of the trash is gone. Those visitors from out of town who stayed in the local hostels or rented homes and rooms for Carnival were packing up their cars. Even a large motor home (very unusual to see a motor home in Panama), which was parked in an open lot near the townsquare, pulled away as I walked down the street. Most everything should get back to normal by next week. “Tranquilo”!

I am posting pictures highlighting Monday night through Tuesday night. Carnival culminates with a Pollera (traditional Panamanian dress) parade and crowning of the winning queen. Then there is a spectacular fireworks and firecracker show that would put Disneyland to shame, lasting about 2-3 hours. The next morning at about 5 am, the winners parade and sing around the plaza several times with the band playing and fireworks shooting off again. I have been told that they then “bury the sardine” and Carnival is officially over for the year. I did not get up to observe this, although I was woken by the music and fireworks. At around 7AM, the Catholic Church, removes the temporary chain link fence that surrounded the building during Carnival, and opens its doors again for Ash Wednesday mass. After I finish this posting, it’s time for a siesta. “Chau” (Pedasians word for goodbye) for now.

Monday Night

Tuesday Afternoon

Final Night

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