Sunday, February 19, 2012

Carnival time in Roses

Flappers, centurions, Vikings, cheerleaders, boxers, pirates, men dressed as women with fake dogs that walked along with them, flamenco dancers and leprechauns and lots more were all in the Carnival parade in Roses today. It was a very different experience for us. When we arrived in town we parked in a big area designated for that purpose but no one told us where to park or charged us for parking. It was all done in an orderly fashion. We then walked down to the sea front which is lined with shops on one side and a long, long promenade on the other side. To our amazement there were chairs lined on both sides of the street, the whole way along. We could sit down and watch the parade pass by.

 The parade started shortly after 12 with home made and some probably quite old floats being pulled by huge tractors with lots of loud upbeat music and some dancers on the floats followed by more dancers from babies to the elderly. Each float had a different theme and everyone wore colourful, elaborate matching costumes that took some time to make. After several floats went by we understood how this worked. On every float was a complete bar that provided beer and often stronger drinks to the marchers behind. Quite often there would be a barbecue with chef cooking brochettes for the participants. It was quite common to see a centurion or flapper with beer and cigarette in hand. There were lots of men dressed as women. Oh the sight of those hairy legs in tights and the anatomically correct breasts complete with larger than life nipples!

Some thought had gone in to the choreography of the dancers behind the floats; in fact it was like a zumba class but as the afternoon wore and the drinks continued to flow the parade did become quite a bit more ragged. The drivers of the big tractors didn't seem fazed by three- or four-year-olds running in front of the them. In fact one little girl of about three was perched right on the front like a figurehead on a ship.

Everyone was having a good time and some of the marchers had such a good time that they joined in with different groups when they had finished their part of the parade. This was easy to do as the parade lasted for three hours.

No horses, no marching bands, just a lot of people having fun on a lovely Sunday afternoon.

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