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Parade Central
September 28th, 2010 by Les

Erma Bombeck, American humorist and author, wrote: “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

 

I love a parade, the tramping of feet,
I love every beat I hear of a drum.
I love a parade, when I hear a band
I just want to stand and cheer as they come.

Arden & Ohman Lyrics

Aren’t parade’s great?  I honestly think we live in “Parade Central”.  We will have been in the little town of Ajijic Jalisco Mexico one year next month.  One of the things I remember most about our first months here was what I thought were an inordinate number of parades for a town this size.  Not that I’m complaining. I grew up in Wisconsin.  Milwaukee had the Great American Circus Parade each year as well as the obligatory Santa Clause parade, St. Patrick’s Day parades, etc.  I love parades!

Having lived here almost one year now it seems to me the parades start, for the most part, in September.  To be more exact on September 16th Mexico’s Independence Day (Dia de le Independencia) and continue through Holy Week.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, we live on Hidalgo.  Hidalgo seems to be on the route of all parades.  We have finally learned, if we exit our gate and see absolutely no cars on the street, we know there is going to be a parade.  There are, obviously, easier ways of learning about planned parades…we could read the local papers, watch the bulletin boards in the town plaza or simply pay attention to the vendors who are selling items for the celebration.  Lots of vendors and most stores had flags and other paraphernalia displayed for purchase prior to Mexico’s Independence Day parades.  I think in some way we both enjoy what we perceive as the spontaneity of these celebrations.  Consequently, though we purchase or pick up the local papers and read the local bulletins we are still “pleased as punch” when we stumble on yet another parade.

The exuberance displayed by literally everyone – those participating in the parade and those on the sidelines watching the parade – is contagious.  Your first clue is the wonderful marching band-type music played with such enthusiasm by, well anyone who’s in the various types of bands.  Drummers marking cadence helping people who are fleet of foot (not watching the cobblestones at all) keep pace with the forward motion once the parade begins.

The laughter of the children is one of the things I most enjoy when watching the parades.  Running along side of the various bands, their little legs going 50 miles an hour keeping up with cadet corps, school children (it seems like all the schools are represented), donkey powered floats as well as charros and so much more.

Charros are traditional horsemen from Mexico.  They are said to track their origin from the central western regions of Mexico and, in particular, the State of Jalisco.  We live in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico, apparently a hot bed of charros activity.  These horsemen are known for colorful clothing and participating in coleadero y charreada, a specific type of Mexican rodeo.

There is of course the sweet humor of these parades, as well.  David was able to capture a picture of one young man portraying an elderly Mexican gentleman.  In an effort to convey the age of the gentleman someone had placed a stocking cap upon his head and glued cotton balls around the cap creating this delightful caricature captured in David’s photograph.

Music, gaiety, shouts of greeting, laughter and family oriented fun.  Could one ask for a better way to greet the day in this land of perpetual spring?  I think not.  And again I say, viva Mexico.

(Note: There are many photographs with this post.  David did such a great job of capturing the mood of the parade I had a hard time deciding what to post.  Though long, I think you’ll enjoy these great shots!)

All girl drum corp.

All girl drum corp.

School children were represented well in this parade.

School children were represented well in this parade.

The girls had material braided within their hair to create an amazing look.

The girls had material braided within their hair to create an amazing look.

He is the delightful "elderly gentleman" of whom I spoke earlier.

He is the delightful "elderly gentleman" of whom I spoke earlier.

One of the floats.

One of the floats.

Parade royalty.

Parade royalty.

Our local celebrity burro provide power for this float.

Our local celebrity burro providing power for this float.

Charros

Charros

Mini Charros with sister.

Mini Charros with sister.

Charros and daughter.  Such beauty.

Charros and daughter. Such beauty.

A parade observer I couldn’t leave out!

A parade observer I couldn’t leave out!

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos.


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