Pedasi Carnaval

It’s that time of year again! Panama Carnaval craziness is in full swing. The entire country is on vacation and many amongst the population are getting their panama carnevaldrink on.

The Azuero Peninsula is the heart of festivities during Carnaval. Las Tablas, Chitre, Los Santos and Pedasi are swollen with partying Panamanians. Yes at this very moment more alcohol is being consumed in Panama then most of the year combined. Folks are getting down!

Here in Pedasi, the town park is completely blocked off and transformed. During the day, large water trucks with fire hoses on top are positioned in the streets and crowds of people gather around to get hosed down. They call it los Culecos. Kids everywhere are running around with squirt guns, wetting anyone they can. If you do not want to get wet, don’t go out. At night the trucks leave and the park turns into a huge block party, the fireworks and music can be heard for miles.

Food, alcohol, ice cream, souvenirs – every spare space in downtown Pedasi has a vendor selling something to the masses that pour in from other parts of the country. Tents are set-up in yards. Revelers are passed out in cars. Goofy costumes are worn. Fireworks. It’s borderline out of control!

Of course there are the traditional queens from both Calle Abajo and Calle Arriba (lower streets and upper streets) pulled along on their floats. They parade once in the day time and once at night, each time with a different float and outfit. It’s quite a production.

As of now, I have only ventured out into the madness for a short while the first afternoon of Carnaval in Pedasi to take some photos of the action. I am planning a night mission, but the queens have been parading as late as one in the morning. That’s a little past my usual bedtime.

Maybe tonight’s the night!