Carnaval 2010 began this evening (Feb. 12, 2010) with
music, dancing and the crowning of the Carnaval Queen,
which led up to the burning of the Bad Humor Man. The
Malecon was lined with kiosks, food puestas and carnival
rides. A good turnout, despite recent economic hardships
of local businesses, browsed the various bontana
stalls and enjoyed the festivities.
Dancers entertained the crowd with traditional high-stepping,
the women festooned with flowers and lace, the men in
classic cotton paisano outfits. The skill of
the troupe was impressive and included a dance where
the women balanced glasses on their heads.
Prior to the burning of the Bad Humor Man, a poem was
read, a very long poem -one that made Milton's Paradise
Lost seem like a limerick. But finally the fuse
was lit and the effigy exploded into showers of sparks.
As the rockets and cohetes mimicked a Prussian
fusilade, the flames finally reached the core of the
paper figure and its heart suddenly exploded like an
Aztec sacrifice and showered the ground with bits of
red crepe and twigs. The concussion of the unexpected
report was like a fist to the chest and several people
reeled back from its effect.
This year's Carnaval is somewhat abreviated. There
will be parades on Saturday and again on Sunday, when
the holiday ends, a few days shy of the traditional
dates, allegedly owing to budget cuts.
So put fresh batteries in your cameras and join the
crowds. Who knows how many Carnavals are left in these