Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Oh the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise. There's one thing I love, all the noise, noise, noise, noise!" (To paraphrase Dr. Seuss and the Grinch)

Local cutie in parade

Carnival is over!  Finished for another year.  Damn, we miss it already.  The loud music, whistles, honking horns, laughter and traffic-stopping parades created havoc for the five days, and we loved it.  As the third annual Island Time Fishing Festival and country music acts were winding up, Carnival was revving up.

There were events for everyone to enjoy.  You could watch the coronations of a number of kings and queens, starting at pre-school age, working up to seniors, culminating with the celebrity king and queen.  A number of dance competitions were held on various evenings at the municipal plaza.  Or you could take your pick of three different parade nights, if you were patient and didn't mind the confusion of start times, or start locations. 

Rio-style whistles, drums, horns

We decided to watch the first parade, on Saturday night, before Lawrie and I headed into Cancun to see a concert.  We picked out a good viewing spot along the Malecón and settled in with friends to wait for the parade.  One side of the Malecón was blocked to traffic to allow for a staging area.  However, the driver of the Corona bus apparently didn't get the memo and tried to enter the parade line-up from the wrong end.  Part of the problem was the bus was too tall to move under the electrical wires. These wires were scheduled, last year, to be re-routed underground as part of the new road work project  ... instead a Corona employee was stationed on the metal roof of the bus with a long piece of wood, assigned to lift the electrical wires up while the bus moved along the road.  

A logistics nightmare!

Then a number of floats, or pick-up trucks stuffed with dancers and celebrants formed up at the head of the line, blocking the float for the carnival king and queen.  The celebrity floats were then moved from the back of the line to the front, but someone forgot to tell the participants about the change in location.  So, we waited, and waited, and waited for the parade to start.  Eventually the celebrities found their floats and the parade began.  The enthusiasm of the dancers was contagious.  Everyone in the crowd joined in - yelling, whistling, clapping and cheering with great vigor.  Unfortunately with the late start we had to leave before the parade was over to catch the water taxi into Cancun.  We had tickets to see Pitbull.  Pitbull - a high energy hip-hop Cuban-American singer.  Yep, that's us.

More Carnival parade participants

We checked into the Ibis Hotel in the business district of Cancun and had a tasty dinner at their in-house Italian restaurant.  Then we were off to the concert, scheduled to start at nine in the evening.  We got to the football stadium around 8:45, and hiked to the end of the extremely long line-up.  Doing the ten-step-shuffle for forty five minutes we arrived within a hundred feet of the gates - just as they were slammed shut.  That side of the stadium was full, and everyone now had to run around to the other side and line up again.  It's quite entertaining to watch young women run in skin-tight jeans and five-inch tall stiletto heels.

Amazing Carnival costumes

Eventually we found a good spot in the general seating section, costing around $25.00 as opposed to the floor seats, starting at $150.00 finishing up at $500.00 dollars.  Then, yes, we waited, waited.  Waited.  Around 11:00 p.m. a warm-up act started, then another, and another and finally the main attraction, Pitbull, deigned to start his act at midnight.  It was a fun and lively performance.  And we were very entertained with people watching.  In the expensive section the seats were white leather sofas, with waiters attending to the needs of the audience.  Every long-legged blonde in the Cancun area was there on the arm of a purportedly rich man, strutting their stuff in sequined shorts or mini-skirts.  We watched one couple take a tour of the stadium in-field every hour, showing off her sparkly shorts and long legs.

The final events of Carnival wrapped up on Tuesday with the burning of Juan de Carnival (in effigy) after the late night mass service.  We, on the other hand, couldn't stay up that late opting instead to attend the very successful annual PEACE Mardi Gras fundraising event held at La Luna nightclub in Centro. 

Last night of Carnival - wrapping up in Centro

Today we are back to normal. 
Quiet.  Eating at home.  Reading.  
Life is good.

(We didn't get any photos of the Pitbull concert.  Didn't take a camera with us, thinking it might be confiscated at the gate.)

No comments: