of Lights - 2011
This years's Parade of Lights seemed to leave every
house in San Felipe empty. At 6pm, the scheduled time
for the start of the event, a sea of faces lined both
sides of Avenida Chetumal. Parking was a dodo bird hunt
as was any place to sit down.
The scheduled delay (all delays are by nature part
of a schedule here) allowed enough time to visit the
local OXXO and purchase a 16oz hand warmer, commonly
called a cup of coffee during warmer weather. This mildly
exothermic device was calculated to keep the fingers
limber enough to operate a digital camera. Unfortunately
the coffee was better than expected and the heat renounced
the fingers in favor of the stomach.
The parade began around 6:25pm. The lead vehicles sounded
like an Aviary from Hell as their choir of high decibel
sirens assaulted our ear drums. The din was truly stunning,
in every sense of the word. I'm sure the Gran Cuvee
stemware at Fat Boys burst into shards as they drove
The relief at seeing the parade approach was quickly
erased by the realization the trucks and floats were
moving too fast for the camera. In fact, the whole pageant
dashed down Chetumal like a Norwegian luge team. There
were no stops for the convenience of the shutterbugs.
Cameras were panning shots so quickly that upper bodies
were moving like Best Buy turnstiles on a Black Friday.
It was a lot like watching a tennis match on fast-forward,
except instead of ballboys running out to pick up fouls,
kids were scrambling to collect the candy that rained
off of floats and out of truck windows. Especially endearing
were the knees of the young girls wearing Santa skirts
and white leotards, which knocked together like croquet
mallets in response to the cold weather.
It was all over before the kid standing next to me
had finished picking his nose. I walked back to my car
as an exodus of vehicles poured onto the avenue. It
was then that I realized there are more cars and trucks
in San Felipe than there are homes, --probably one for
every cell phone.
Fortunately I had anticipated the traffic problem and
had parked my car near a dirt road shortcut that led
away from the congestion and put me on Chetumal quite
a bit north of the mayhem. On my way out I passed the
last trailer float, lumbering down the avenue a full
quarter hour behind the parade. Perhaps it was an early
start to next year's event.
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