The fireworks and early evening parties of November 30th unofficially kicked off a month of Christmas celebrations.
One week later, the Myths and Legends parade (Desfile de Mitos y Leyendas) took place on the eve of the Immaculate Conception (a public holiday).
I met up with Mike (GoBigMike) and Leif (Killing Batteries), and together we took a cab to downtown.
As we approached the giant Christmas tree in the photo above, while driving along Oriental Avenue, we ran into more and more people.
The tree was located at a 90-degree corner turn in the parade route. The parade would start along La Playa. This would be my first, and only, view of the holiday decorations in Centro.
We met up with a few of my friends, including Jason (Locationless Living) and Lina. They had staked out a spot by one of the guard rails right before the intersection of La Playa and Oriental Avenue.
Lina was awesome, and invited me to squeeze up front once the parade got underway.
There were lots of people in costume of course, depicting Colombian myths and legends.
Stiltwalkers were out in force, in varying sizes, and ages. Some were on wooden stilts, while others used more modern metal ones with curved bottoms that allowed them to spring forward and backward and higher speeds.
I was taking photos constantly, but very few came out well. There were so many factors to consider, I didn’t know how to set up my camera in an optimal way.
It was nighttime, but there were bright overhead street lamps.
The parade participants were moving 99% of the time, and due to the crowds, I wasn’t able to walk around and get different angles.
Photography challenges aside, it was an entertaining event. It was crowded enough that I was keeping a hand on my BlackBerry at almost all times. It helped that I was mostly surrounded by friends as well. Strength in numbers.
As with all Colombian parades, there were vendors walking around selling beers.
The parade lasted about an hour, and afterward, we met up with my friend Angela for a few more beers.
After waiting out a rainstorm, Mike, Leif and I grabbed some Mexican food, and then headed for Parque Lleras, where we’d unite with Benny (Fluent in 3 Months), and Angela and her friend, before heading to La Ruana de Juana to dance late into the night.
Very cool, I’ve always wanted to get a pair of stilts…
Well, that, and a unicycle.