February 2, 2008

Watching - and joining the La Manzanilla 'parade'

LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico - We went to the town square to watch the first event in a several days long annual town fiesta - an event that everyone told us was a parade.

We stood in the square with several hundred people - Mexican and gringos, all mingling and talking and laughing.

After an hour or so (during which a number of people found it necessary to tell us their most horrific scorpion stories), the live music suddenly cranked up and people started dancing in the middle of the square to some lively Mexican music. And, of course, there was a tuba in the band.

But then, just as suddenly, this mass of people started moving and we realized that the parade was in fact, all of us, not exactly a Macy's department story Thanksgiving Day with floats, but a throng of people dancing down the streets to the music.

It was a riot.

Adults, children, people on horses, dogs (and maybe a few cats, but they kept very low profiles) all wound their way from the square through one neighborhood and then down the main street to a large open area called the Casino where today we will be celebrating Gringo Day with food, drinks and dancing. And I'm sure the festivities will go well into the night, tonight.

More on that tonight or tomorrow, but here's some photos from last night's parade.

Street parade one
Kids take the lead

adult dancers
Adults get find their parade rhythm

Blondie smiles
Lots of big smiles

A horse, dad and child
Dad and son in the parade

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