Carnival in La Paz was a blast
JOHN M. DERBY
March 9, 2017
been to the Carnival at Rio and the Mardi Gras in New Orleans,
we were ready for anything when we drove south 250 miles
to what is regarded as the biggest carnival in Baja California,
It lived up to its reputation in many ways, with seven days
of parading down the Malicon (main boulevard running next
to the sea).
In other ways it was different. Lots of police security,
not so wild and little or no crime. In addition, the Carnival
de La Paz is very much a family affair with young children
on some of the floats and young dancers in the street.
There was no nudity, but very attractive ladies dressed
in sequin-laden dresses, and usually music on every float.
This proved to be a problem when the floats ganged up too
close and the music from one float overlapped the next.
One thing for sure was the parade watchers could hear the
music and a pair of ear plugs should have been passed out
for every person in attendance.
Our hotel could not have been better situated for the parade
as we had front row seats from the front steps. This also
became a problem when we wanted to go to sleep. Even with
all the windows shut, the sound was deafening until three
or four in the morning.
It was so loud that we tried to dampen the sound by stuffing
wet toilet paper in our ears. It barely helped.
The parade started at 6 p.m. and alternated direction every
night. Each night the parade and the number of carnival
fans increased until Fat Tuesday, when a crowd from 5 to
7,000 lined the street and the parade lasted about two hours.
Then the carnival took over the street.
Lined on each side of the street were food venders, carnival
games and people selling everything from carnival masks
to jewelry and toys. There were rides and games of chance,
much like our own county fair.
Every two or three blocks was another stage with a live
band and people dancing to the music which had that traditional
three step beat. Bands switched during the evening and the
music never seemed to take a break.
We went to bed well before midnight with two pillows used
like a clam shell to muffle the sound.
Our reaction to the Carnival de LaPaz: Two Thumbs Up.