XXI Shrimp Festival - 2013
The Day of the Dead was decidedly for the living at this year's Annual Shrimp Festival. Pavilions and kiosks lined both shores of the Malecon, providing the plaque that slowed the flow of people and occasionally created a bottleneck at the places that, well, ...offered the bottles.
Wine and tequila were prominent celebrities this year, but pretty much everything else was represented at the celebration, -hat, T-shirt and blanket vendors, glass blowing, toys, a display advertising the local casino, real estate promos, arts and crafts, chocolate bonbons, churro carts, elotes, roasted nuts, popcorn, pizza, and of course the honorific fare named for the festival, shrimp, -fresh, baked, broiled, sauteed with a wild selection of sauces. Again, like last year, there was a military recruitment center, made more surreal this year by the presence of a man in a Ghillie suit.
The southern end of the Malecon followed the tradition of hosting a fairground of rides and slides for the children which included the now familiar House of Horrors.
Music and dancing, civic announcements and raffle prizes occupied center stage. This year the numbers for the prizes were determined by a pair of enormous foam dice, which were tossed off the stage and trusted to eventually come to a full stop somewhere within town.
The trend for the last several festivals is to commence the celebrations near dusk. Given the proximity to Halloween and the Day of the Dead, this seems logical. And since the light fades quickly at this time of year (cured to some extent by our clocks turning back this evening), the incandescent and fluorescent fixtures make the colorful wares of the vendors glow eerily, which is in good stranding with ghouls and skeletons.
This 2013 turnout, from the perspectives of both attendance and the festival's anthology of venues, calls back to more prosperous times and may be a herald of better things to come. Next year will tell the tale.
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