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Fiesta Parade Cock-Up !

By Jo Green - Thu 11th Aug 2011

One of the biggest and most important days of the fortnight long Summer Fiesta is Parade day.

The Spanish love dressing up and it is far from being just a Kid's parade. Although we are not much more than a village by UK standards, this year there were around 25 different groups participating in the parades : Some on the back of tractors; some on a Horse & Cart, a few marching bands and couple of groups who were just walking round in fancy dress.

The ages ranged from babies who were not at the walking stage yet, and a couple of floats of 'Pensionistas' who were dressed as Hawaiian Hula girls.

The parade itself went (almost) without a hitch - which was surprising given the headache our my daughter's group had in the run up to it actually getting underway.

The Mums and kids from my daughters year at school had arranged to meet at the house of one of the parents, who had kindly agreed to lend us one of the tractors and trailers from his construction business which we could use to decorate as a float. We had arranged to meet up at 3pm on the Thursday - the day before the parade - in order to clean the trailer and to decorate it in accordance with our theme.

Or at least that was the plan. 3pm came and none of the other Mums turned up. Nor did the parents who owned the tractor - the house and yard was desolate.

So trying not to be too put off by this, I put it to the back of my mind and felt certain that we could do pretty much all the decorating that we needed to when we were scheduled to continue at 3pm the following day - parade day.

3pm came and the gates to the house (which is also where the family ran the construction business from) were closed. An employee shouted from within the compound that nobody was around and that the mums should return at 4pm.

So off I toddled back home, and returned an hour later. This time the mum of the house was at home, but as the trailer itself was still out on a job she said just to collect the costume that I had ordered and meet up again just before 7pm, which was when the parade was due to start.

So I picked up what was the last costume in the bag to find that it was for a boy rather than a girl, and that it was totally massive and looked ridiculous on her. There was probably some large boy struggling to squeeze into a Tutu somewhere in the village, but I was dammed if I was ringing around 20 or so Spanish Mums to try and explain my predicament, so decided to quickly modify the costume that we had. I hoped that the Mum who had collected my daughter's costume would have had the foresight to do likewise.

7pm came, and I drove through the village to the arranged meeting point where all the floats would line up and follow each other out of the car park and on a circuitous route around the Town. As I drove through the Town I could see the local Police blocking off the major routes in and out of the town and moving parked cars etc... in preparation.

I then also saw a second batch of Police officials putting up signs, alongside the 'No Parking for Parade' ones advising 'No Parking for Funeral' - which was due to take place at the exact same time.

Now I'm aware that the deceased probably didn't plan it this way, but I'm sure that the Town Priest could have advised holding the Funeral Mass a couple of hours either side of the Parade - especially when the Parade ended with a flourish and countless fireworks outside the church - as indeed it does every year.

Anyhow, in true Spanish style a small matter of a Funeral wasn't going to force any Fiesta parade onto changing it's plans so off we set at 8pm - a respectable 1 hour later than planned and advertised, still catching many people off guard as they were surprised that we were 'earlier than expected'.

So with most of the teenagers in the parade blind drunk after drinking their ration on vodka whilst waiting to set off and half of the kids needing a pee-pee before we got round the first corner, we set off, with many Mums still running behind our float stapling crepe paper to the trailer as we went.

About 1 hour - or halfway - into the parade one of the tractors broke down at one of the narrowest possible points and nobody could pass either backwards or forwards. A mechanic was despatched and after 30 mins of standing in the same spot, bands blaring out the same tracks and the teenagers almost on the verge of ordering a Doner Kebab, the parade was finally able to get underway again.

The funny thing is that hardly anybody noticed the Blues Brothers themed float, complete with realistic hearse, floral tributes and mourners that somehow managed to get caught up in the middle of the festivities, however, my daughter did question why they were the only ones not throwing sweets out to the crowd.

Comment on this Blog

 
Primero. Nunca1 se queda a las 3:00 si no es para comer. Segundo: Los valencianos cambian de opinion, y "they don´t give a shit· si han quedado contigo. Tercero: No intentes entender a los policias Cuarto:Siempre llevar caramelos en el bolso para las cabalgatas. Muy Bueno Jo !
Teresa - Thu, 25th Aug 2011

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