Sunday morning is the annual Festa de las Flores y de las Flores parade. The city expects 110,000 visitors this Carnivale and I believe all are watching the parade. The city is obviously practiced in crowd control for the parade. Businesses sell seats along the parade route and the police generally do not allow the crowd to walk through the street or encroach upon the parade route. Some people have been sitting on the sidewalk in front of public buildings since last night to preserve a spot. As a result of staying at Roka Plaza we have reserved seats(with cushions) for the parade right in front of the hotel. A wonderful benefit. We sit and watch the vendors and crowd before the start of the parade.
The food vendors are numerous. Many are selling a traditional festival sandwich consisting of sweetened figs and cheese on a bun, Of course there are cotton candy vendors and a few hot dog vendors. We also see people selling candied apples and chocolate covered strawberries. The ubiquitous food carts selling corn and potato chips abound along with juice and water vendors.
The parade route is cleared by multiple waves of police cars and police or national guard units walking shoulder-to-shoulder across the breadth of the street. Soon the floats, marching bands and dancing groups arrive. The floats are all made of flowers, fruits or foods. This is the Ecuadorian equivalent to the US Rose Bowl parade. Each has one to three beauty queens perched on them waving to the crowd.
In addition to the floats there are dancing groups. Several represent other Latin American countries. Throughout the two hour parade the crowd is well-behaved. There are a group of young men across the street who call out to the beauty queens to throw a kiss. Virtually all do so. After the parade we catch a quick lunch at the hotel and rest before heading off to our afternoon adventure of a bull fight.
Hi. I'm Anne. I wander around the world with William.
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