Thursday, April 30, 2015

Feathers Abound

Birds of exotic feather should beware - it's Carnival time!

We started the day with a bus ride over the hill to Philipsburg where we explored the boardwalk and beach, and then picked our vantage point for the grand Carnival parade.  

This needed a "you are here" marker down on the bay at the bottom right.

Philipsburg is quite unique with its wide open boardwalk and broad beach right downtown.

With Dave & Corinne (At Last) and Judy & Andy (Jacob's Ladder), we claimed space in the shade on the Tommy Hilfiger steps... a great place for chicken and johnny cakes with cold beer for lunch, all in support of the local school who had a food stand right next to us.

And then we found Jason & Laura (Blue Blaze) and Gabi & Carston (Pathfinder).

The parade arrived with the assorted Queens of the Carnival, then the children's parade and finally the variously themed dance groups and requisite party trucks such as we had followed in Jouvet.  The sun rose higher in the sky and as we found it hotter and hotter it was hard to imagine the energy of the parade marchers in their exotic costumes and paint who danced and gyrated their way along the parade route for over three hours.  We were stationed near the end of the route and the energy level was still intense!

Here comes the parade!  Boats that just fit in the Panama Canal are called Panamax size - what do you call the size of these trucks on Front Street?

These ladies had it pretty easy, just needing to wave and smile.

We were then treated to a number of fabulous unique costumes - each one so willing to pose for all the photo ops.

Youth in training!

This costume was so large it was actually on wheels.

Absolutely beautiful!

This little girl beside us was barely two and she wore herself out dancing with the best of them.

Presidente Girl - but no free beer handouts this time.

After three hours of sweating in the sun, the body paint looks as fresh as new - how do they do that?

This costume defied gravity.

More amazing body paint.

All along the way dancers would stop and pose with friends and strangers alike.

Curacao was a highlighted nation in the parade and their costumes were spectacular.  It felt like an Alice in Wonderland set.

More Curacoa pride with flag and Dutch buildings.

As the parade wound down everyone was still having fun, including the marchers.
Exhausted and still in awe of the energy required to complete the march, we took ourselves off to find a meal and cold beer before heading home once more on the bus.  The infectious beat is still reverberating in my head and I still can't imagine Carnival in Grenada in the heat of August!

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