I had been bouncing off of the walls all week! A friend shared with me that there was a Desfile Navideño, a Christmas Parade, happening in Guaymas Friday night. Unfortunately, she shared this on Tuesday, so I had almost the entire week to wait. In the meantime, I also learned there would be a Christmas tree lighting on the malecón after the parade. Suffice to say, come Friday night I was a bundle of energetic glee! I was ready to burst. Steve was being a very good sport.
The parade was scheduled to start at 4:30 pm, so Santa hats in tow, I picked Steve up from work about 3:45. Navigating Guaymas on ordinary days can still be a struggle for us, so we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to get lost and found if needed. As the main avenue into El Centro was already closed to traffic coming into Guaymas from our direction, the challenge was definitely on! The way Steve and I navigated the detour (without the benefit of detour signs) was nothing short of a miracle. As far as I was concerned, the night was already a success based on this accomplishment alone.
We found a parking spot and were seated on the curb with time to spare. It was then I discovered that Steve “forgot” his Santa hat. Unbeknown to us at the time, we could have easily made it to the truck and back (and eaten dinner and finished our Christmas shopping) before the parade actually began. Because that 4:30 parade did not start until 7:00!
It seemed there was a leak somewhere in the traffic blockade because the cars kept coming. And most of the cars were full of costumed children, um parade participants, heading to the starting point long after the scheduled starting time. The Spanish phrase “ni modo” (oh well) was definitely applicable here. The wait did not dampen the excitement, as children played with light up toys, chased down balloon venders, and enjoyed churros y Cheetos con chamoy, jamoncillo, banderillas, papas, manzanas, gomas, paletas, and dulce de algodón. It was a pre-Christmas Parade Food Parade!
Finally, it was time! We were entertained by a marching band, baton twirlers, floats, elves on stilts, and lots of twinkling lights. Santa appeared for the first time in our section around 7:30. Literally every single child and his parents ran into the street to get a picture with Santa. We thought the parade had ended several times because there were these huge lulls in the action. Only after witnessing the Santa picture frenzy, did we realize that this was the reason for the hold up. Because it happened every time there was a Santa, and there were a lot of Santas!
Pickup trucks hauling generators for light and music shows preceded the performing school groups. Students wore adorable Christmas themed outfits and danced to hip hop Christmas songs, like “Yes, everybody knows (ra-pa-pum-pum) We will take off our clothes (ra-pa-pum-pum) Light you up, put you on top Let’s fa la la la la, la la la la (let’s go)!” I am still processing the sweet angels, reindeers, and elves performing to this. And to be honest, I am still laughing about it too.
Once the parade officially ended, Steve and I headed to the malecón for the tree lighting. Our first stop was a hot dog vender. The snack we bought to enjoy during the wait, er, parade had long worn off, and we were starving. We just had time to scarf those down before the countdown began. I am guessing that even the event organizers were exhausted by this point and wanted to move things along.
After the tree was lit, fireworks exploded over the Sea of Cortez. It was incredible! I may have had a little tear in my eye- -either from excitement or the fact that my butt was still numb from sitting so long at the parade. The last ash had not even touched the ground, and Steve was turning away to head for the truck. His “ni modo” had got up and gone!
And I heard him exclaim as we drove out of sight, “Please, dear God, I hope she invites a friend to go with her next year.”