Well, it seems Cuenca has altered the original premise a bit. The parade has sort of morphed into a Carnaval slash political satire slash drag slash whatever event. I found it odd it's held on a Sunday, starting late at about 5pm, and on a heavily travelled arterial instead of in the El Centro where the big Christmas parade is held. I now understand why. In a span of about 10 blocks, there had to be 50,000 spectators. They needed the wide street not only to accommodate all the vendors and spectators, but also the 'floats'.
As one example, one 'float' was a cardboard airplane about 30 feet long, made to look like President Correa's plane. It had cutout windows with 'passengers' aboard who were actually carrying the plane down the street. Every so often, the plane would turn as if it was coming in for a landing and the wings would swoop over the heads of the spectators. The people holding the wings up would yell out 'cuidate, CUIDATE!!' which means 'take care' or 'watch out!' and the spectators would duck as the cardboard wings nearly gave everyone free haircuts. Then, the plane would stop, and out would jump a President Correa look-a-like who would glad-hand with the crowds.
I got there just about when the parade started. I walked to the staging area and took photos of those waiting for their turn. Whenever they saw a camera pointed at them, they would yell to their compatriots...PHOTO PHOTO!!!...and they quickly gathered and posed for a shot.
Other entries included the 'Colpera Laundry' which had several washing machines (made of cardboard) with money spinnig around inside. It was a parody on the recent events where Coopera (a pseudo credit union) got shut down by the Government because several high-ranking individuals were caught money laundering. GET IT??
There was a float jabbing Chevron for it's role in polluting the jungles in northern Ecuador and leaving the mess behind.
There were men in wigs in the parade and on the sidelines, little children in wigs, and lots of people dressed as if they thought it was Halloween by wearing death masks, dressing as horror movie characters, and/or wearing makeup that looked like they were a nuclear meltdown victim.
When I arrived at 4:30, I easily found a parking spot 1 block from the route. Afterwards, there were cars sprawled everywhere there was an empty space even if it was on the sidewalks. People seemed to have come out of nowhere in just the half hour before the parade started. Strange, but fun. Everyone was having a good time from young to old, native to foreigner. And, when the parade was done, everyone just took over the street and hung out.
Enjoy the photos!!!
|Volkswagen entry with little boy dressed in clown getup.|
|Don't know why this is sideways. But, this is a very typical cart found at every festival in Cuenca. Meat and veggies on a stick grilled in the open for a buck or two.|
|When I first moved here I wondered how this stuff didn't melt??? It's a very light, whipped, creamed flavored concoction made to look like an ice cream cone.|
|Maybe I should draw my abs on me. I think it's VERY convincing. LOL!!|
|Satire on Chevron.|
|Ummm...not sure what this was about. Jack La Lanes?|
|I made him do this.|
|I have no idea what this is but it looks like parts of a diseased octopus.|
|Mobile cotton candy maker.|
|President Correa's jet.|
|After the parade passed by, the crowd filled in the street.|
|This whole family got in on the spirit.|
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