Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fotos of Feria XXXV - Day Three

This fellow is operating a cotton candy
machine that reminded me of the ones
we had at fairs when I was small.
Today will all be about color.... colors that people are wearing, colors of the floats, colors all around. I have noticed in the past that Colombians are very particular about what they wear and whether or not it all 'matches.' If a woman or girl is wearing pink shoes, you can be sure she also has pink in her shirt and in her hair or the purse she carries.

The floats are traditionally quite colorful and show off the products from each vereda as well as what Santander as a whole has to offer... coffee, corn, tobacco, chickens, beans, yucca, mandarins, oranges, mangos, pineapples, and more.

Girl in pink with pink ballon.

This is also the day of the parade - at 2 p.m. - so if a float is not yet finished, you can bet there are teams of people at work on it in the morning. No vereda (shire) would want to be ridiculed for being lazy or shirking their responsibility of being ready for their candidate's display. Remembering back to the representative we sponsored, this is a day of excitement for the families of the girls being presented. The girls are treated like princesses at home, allowed certain privileges not normally permitted, and reminded by their brothers or sisters that after the parade, they will have to return their 'golden slippers and crown' and be normal again. There is a sense that this is a huge joke, but one to be enjoyed to the fullest.

UPDATE: Because the Mayor did not put up roadblocks to prevent people from parking their cars around the park, the parade started very late, and of course ended late as well. There were announcements that people should move their cars, but that certainly didn't happen.

There were a lot of wonderfully creative floats, and I want to post a lot of the photos, but because of all the people here tonight, I cannot get modem speed to upload them. I will post as soon as I have some speed. It turns out that I knew one of the princesses because she was in our Radio/Theatre group and I also do not have the news of who the winners were at this time. More to come...

This was a school entry... Wow!

Casa di Cultura's Flower Float - it
was hard from where I was standing
to get a good shot of the whole thing.

These dancers are not Colombian, but were a lively addition to the event.

This is a giant chicken made from corn cobs and
papier mache... really impressive!
The Casa di Cultura float.
The Casa di Cultura float was indeed among the prettiest, but I don't think we won any awards. The dress worn by our princess was a perfect color for her and for the float.

There were 34 floats in the parade and it took almost two hours for all of them to make their way into the  central plaza for judging. When I find out who were the leaders (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and who was voted into Queenship, I will post an addendum here. There were too many floats to publish them all, so I will set up a Photobucket file and link it for your entertainment.

UPDATE: The young lady voted Queen of Barichara was in fact the only one I knew - Angie! She was also the tallest, and as it happens, is the daughter of one of my ceramic class members. She won a two-night stay in one of the top hotels in Santa Marta since the Mayor's office cannot award something like a scholarship. From what I understand it would be using public funds for a private reward. Perhaps I will work to create a scholarship fund so that the desire to be a princess will be enhanced by the desire to continue their education, too.
This is "Angie" on her float looking like the mariposa she is... lovely!


  1. dear sandy,

    what an excellent job you have done with your detailed narrative and beautiful photos, from the countdown to the feria to this day. how fortunate you must feel to be able to immerse yourself in the culture of this celebration, and how lucky your readers are to be able to accompany you. you are such a gifted writer - and photographer; you would be an excellent contributor to any columbian travel publication or site. i love that you chose color as the theme of this post - from those used on those amazing floats to angie's dress - beautiful!

    and your rendition of "ventana" - what a lovely painting! and it must be so gratifying that your work is on display for others to admire and enjoy.

    i have enjoyed the chronicle, and learned so much about barichara, it's people and it's customs. i find your descriptions of it all, along with your observations of the subtle (and, at times, amusing and/or bewildering) quirkiness of how society there functions along with the great pride of people and place fascinating. you certainly personify the old saw, "When in Rome...", and i imagine get a lot of us wondering just where on the planet would WE like to experience a whole new way of living.

    please know i am thinking of you, still intending right along with you for all you are hoping for.


    karen, TC

    1. Thank you so much, Karen! It is for devoted readers like you that I write and chronicle the places I see and oddities along the way... I know many people just read and don't comment, but I do appreciate the feedback.

      Coming soon the excitements of moving, resettling, and heading back to those babes but first, what I saw this morning....