Today was the big Carnaval parade. This is supposed to be the second largest in the world behind Rio so with two kids in tow we weren’t expecting to see a whole lot, but we figured we could at least head down and experience the crowds before fighting our way home again.
So around three we caught the bus down to the malecón where we found crowds, but nothing like we had expected. Granted the parade was three hours away, there was still time. The malecón in Mazatlan is big—four lanes of road with a big divider and huge sidewalks on both sides—so there is plenty of room. We were able to wander in the way that kids wander, slowing to play with the huge blocks of ice next to the beer stands or trying to pick up confetti off the ground (until we started buying it by the bucketloads). The crowd that was there was predominantly families that had staked out large areas, moved in chairs and tables, and been having a family gathering of sorts for the past 24 hours off and on. The atmosphere was decidedly more family oriented than we had expected. When I think of Carnaval I think of Rio—and that does not scream family outing to me.
The kids walked the streets throwing confetti and having their hair tousled by a couple hundred old ladies. We bought party hats, more confetti, and light-up wands, all of which were home made. Well maybe not the confetti, but it was at least individually packaged at home. The hats were typical Mexican street vendor style: a piece of thick paper is rolled into a witches hat, then some shiny wrapping paper is glued on, followed by a random sticker from some cartoon, then another completely random Disney sticker is thrown on, followed by a piece of ribbon stuck in the top, and a sparkly brim finally glued to the bottom. They then throw in a mask and a wand, all for the grand sum of twenty pesos ($1.60).
Rumor has it that the far end of the road near Old Town is where the good food stands were at, but we weren’t too disappointed by the good old Mexican style hot dogs with the works and mangos on a stick.
By around sundown the crowds had grown enough that it was getting more difficult to wander aimlessly with the kids. Then the parade finally started. Ouest had been excited for “the show,” but unfortunately the first dozen “floats” were just advertisements. Girls dancing on Pacifico beer trucks, girls throwing t-shirts off the Primera bus, girls dancing on a Tostitos delivery truck, girls… You get the idea. Pretty boring.
By now the kids were crapping out on us, being carried everywhere, yawning, and ready for bed. Yes, it was now very nearly seven o’clock.
And thus ended our Carnaval celebration. We walked a couple of blocks back, flagged down a cab, and we were home with kids in bed by seven thirty. The party never really stops with the Bumfuzzle crew.