Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Fair is in Town!

Every year, Panajachel has a big fair in October to honour their patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi. Revue magazine has a nice little write-up about it.
The big awesome ferris wheel at night. 
We noticed them setting up for the feria about a week before the official opening date. The area around the market started getting clogged with stalls selling roscas (ring-shaped cookies) and bags of peanuts in the shell. One side street filled up with old arcade games and foosball tables. And the streets around the big church were cluttered with parts to be assembled into amusement rides.

Then parades started -- uh -- parading around town every day. Marching bands, floats, beauty queens, people in costumes, dancers, you name it! Plus vendors selling cotton candy and other treats wending their way through the crowds, and a sudden tripling of pizza stands.

Two more things that tripled or quadrupled during fair week: fireworks and drunks. Eeks! Bombas were going off day and night, crackers popping in the streets at all hours, and an abundance of wobbly revelers stumbled around the cobbled streets. Seems the fair is a whole ton of fun -- perhaps too much for some to handle responsibly. :D

Speaking to several gringo friends, the fair is not so popular for them as it is for the locals. A few gringos left town to avoid the crowds and noise, and some others just planned to stay away from the fair area during that week.

Is that Saint Francis? Or Jesus?
As for us, it's our first feria so we are taking it all in! We enjoyed trying new foods (especially candy!), marvelling at the ancient arcade games from our childhood, and gawking at all the new sights. On our list of not-so-much-fun are the endless fireworks and incredibly loud music that kept us up late into the night. Some people gotta work in the morning!

I've put together a video of a bit of the fair. It truly was a fascinating experience for someone who has never been. The sounds, smells, and sights combined to make it a very colourful event! But to be honest, I'm glad it's done and we can have our peaceful little town back... until the next festival. :)

No comments :

Post a Comment