Christmas Parade of Lights - 2012

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San Felipe, Baja, Mexico


Parade of Lights - 2012

San Felipe has turned on the lights by pulling the plug, --the economic shyness plug that has forced a material reserve on the Parade of Lights for the past few years. This year's parade may well be an indicator of an approaching economic recovery. It was probably the most lush, extravagant Parade of Lights the town has seen to date.

The shores of Chetumal were crowded with waving arms as the long, howling, cheering, horn-blowing, luminous pyrotechnic spectacle slowly poured down the avenue toward the Malecon. Fire trucks, Kenworths, pickups towing flatbed trailers, were all bedecked with miles of colored hyphenated and whiskered lights, some sculpted into blinking holiday animations of trees and reindeer.

It seemed that nearly everyone in the parade, and many of the spectators, were dressed for the season. There was more red velvet and white beards in evidence than at a Moscow rally. Even the occasional dog was Santa-Claused to the hocks, the dipso one making a particularly convincing Rudolph.

Many of these photos are not National Geographic crisp. Holding the event in the middle of the day would cure this, but of course the 'Lights' part of the parade would become the new standard for enemia. At night, resplendid as the parade appears to the naked eye, the camera tends to lengthen its yawn and offers an image of streaming blurs. The photographer must 'pan' his shots, which means he must move the camera at the same speed as the passing vehicles and floats. This is an art akin to stepping into an old style revolving door while it is vigorously turning, carrying an open umbrella your hand. It is nearly impossible to shave Time to the point required for a sharp photograph. Besides, no photographer enjoys the thought of becoming a pan handler on the streets of San Felipe after dark.

If this year's parade can be taken as a symptom of things to come, it heralds a weather-change and a good reason to look forward to next year's offering.

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