Saturday was the La Ceiba Carnaval, the 35th one, evidently. We got a decent balcony view at a language school along the parade route, mostly out of the sun, and full of expats having a good time. Sadly, there were a lot of wires and trees in the way, so the pictures aren’t the best. The basic parts of the parade:
- Semi clad women
- Semi clad women with big costumes (somehow not even an oxymoron)
- Bandas de Guerra (marching bands)
- Semi clad women throwing beads
It was a slower parade than I am used to, meaning the bandas de guerra had time to march around and go through their entire repetoire (including 90’s US hits, atonal pieces that would make John Cage proud, and the YMCA). Now let me explain. These bandas de guerra are a bit different than what you may be used to. You’re used to trumpets, saxophones, that kind of thing in a marching band. Here, the only instruments are drums, guidos (a scratchy metal scraper), and xylophones. As many as possible. And played as loud as possible. And in unison. No such thing as harmony. That got annoying REAL fast. Who let xylophones out of the kindergarten play room?
After it got dark, some bands started playing- there were probably 10 stages set up over the 23 block parade route, and even more loud speakers. but it was good music, and a lot of fun… got to see a five year old boy school a bunch of foreigners in dancing, a hand cranked amusement ride, and a stream of transvestites (evidently this is an international tradition, and the one time a year males are able to show “feminine” aspects). Also hit up a licuados place for some much needed refreshment. I got here at a good time, glad I didn’t miss this.