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Desfile de Carnaval

August 19, 2012

Saturday night in Granada, Nicaragua was the Carnival Parade. It was a several hours long parade of bands, costumed young men and women dancing and performing, and a few floats. The odd thing for me was that it was at night so it was sometimes difficult to see especially with the throngs of people.

My friend, Carol, and I went out a little before 8pm and the parade had already gotten to the main park. Timing is always a problem in Granada as there never seems to be a specific start time and sometimes performances start an hour or two later or earlier than you are told.

Our plan was to watch from Calle Xalteva which is a wide main street that most parades follow and when we got there it was extremely crowded. This was not a surprise as Nicas love a party and it seemed everyone was there with their entire family. I saw lots of kids, babies sleeping, parents, grandparents etc. Also throngs of young teenagers together having a great time pushing through the crowds. Everyone is right up against everyone else and it was hot.

Amazingly for the all the crowding and pushing, it did not feel dangerous as the crowds last week at the running of the bulls. Only once was there a feeling of danger and it was because the police were pushing people back onto the sidewalk as they dragged a man in a chokehold down the street.  His eyes were shut and I don’t know if he was a criminal or hurt or what. The group of police around him were swinging their batons to keep people away. People were moving quickly to get out of the way and pushed us back toward the buildings.

I took nothing but my keys, on a chain around my neck and tucked into my blouse, and my camera. The photos were not good because of the darkness and several times when I took pictures the bystanders warned me to be careful. They told me there were many pickpockets and to hold onto the camera, which I did. I never put it in my pocket and clutched it to my body most of the time.

Here are some photos of a popular mode of transportation here motorcycles and bikes. This is behind the main plaza where the judges viewing station was set up. The man squatting my the tree is peeling potatoes to cook for the throngs. There are lots of small food carts in the park.

It was a lot of fun just to be out in the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd.

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From → Granada

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