photography, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

I love a parade … and a circus, and a rodeo, and a county fair, and a horse race … but mostly a parade

So sue me. I’m a sucker for a good parade.

Well, these days, I’ll take any parade — or a procession. You know, the kind we used to bump into on what felt like a daily basis back in the good old pre-Covid days.

Parades say “This is who we are. This is what we believe. This is the best of us, otherwise, why bother having a parade?” And, oh, we’ve had some wonderful parades in San Miguel de Allende.

Haven’t we?

My all-time favorite was the Dia de Los Locos parade several years ago.

The day started early with a World Cup match between Mexico and Germany in which oh-my-effing-god, Mexico won! Mexico beat Germany!

Even as the game ended and we were still trying to force down the last greasy bits of a formidable and barely edible (as it should be) English breakfast at McCarthy’s Irish Pub, the celebratory sounds of the Locos parade drifted down the Ancha.

So, we just swiveled about in our seats by the open doors and spent the next two hours watching a crazy assortment of costumery oozing down the Ancha like psychedelic lava. Beers at 6 a.m., football, and Locos … that, my friends, is a good day in San Miguel.

I happened upon the vestiges of a Locos parade last year. It was a Covid place-keeper. A representative sampling of what used to be and will be again, lasting no more than 10 minutes.

Step by step, parades and processions — pageantry, costumery, marching bands, favorite saints and soldiers, cute kids and crazy adults, and all — are coming back.

Why, just Friday we saw the return of the parade celebrating the birthday of Colonel Ignacio Allende, our city’s namesake and hero of the Mexican revolution. It was a blend of beauty queens, school kids, youth bands, mounted horsemen, a cacophony of first-responder units, and crisply dressed and stepped military units.

I confess that I was a bit distracted and may have missed a unit or two as they marched up the Ancha under a chilly gray sky. You see, I was in Cafe Murmullo on the Ancha with other adults trying to do adult things like sip chai latte and Cafe Americanos and make plans for Sunday brunch and stuff.

But just outside the door … a parade!

So I ran in and out like an untamed little kid. Snapped some photos, ran back in and made adult-sounding growls of assent, sipped my latte, and ran back out at the first blare of fresh bugles.

So. Much. Fun.

In sum, your correspondent missed big chunks of the parade and I apologize for that. What I saw revived those old feelings for pageantry. It left me with only one question: “How come nobody was throwing out hard candies to us parade watchers?”

So here are some photos from Friday’s parade. Enjoy. And keep your ears open for the crisp rhythms of a distant drum unit, the flat screech of the horns, and the clip-clop of marching feet — somewhere, someday soon, in a neighborhood near you will be another parade celebrating … something.

How about, life as we once knew it?

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