The Festival Palmares is the largest festival in Costa Rica and lasts for over two weeks. We are not big fans of the crowds that attend these festivals so chose to miss the event last year. This year, however, our friends Errol, Angie, Jose and Gilberto insisted that we needed to go! We arrived early in order to stake our claim to a spot in front of the gathering crowd. It was decided that we would watch the Carnival Parade behind the plastic stools that had been placed there before our arrival.
Venders were everywhere selling everything including the plastic stools in the photo. The young man is Jose, our friend. All kinds of foods, toys, lights and just about anything you would "need" to celebrate were available from a vender!
The parade consisted of many bands all dressed in different and colorful costumes. As the evening progressed, so did the complexity of the outfits worn by the participants.
Many of the bands were made up mostly of drummers! They were very talented and very loud!! Some of the players were throwing and catching their base drums in sync---amazing to see! I was holding my breath wondering if they were going to drop one!
In addition to all the bands and dancers there were many different "Mascaradas" which are people walking in these very tall costumes with a window that allows the individual to see where they are going!
The characters were many and varied! Some funny and some scary!
While others interacted with the spectators! Many of the participants were throwing gifts of beads, candy, horns, etc. into the crowd! We all ended up with beads and whistles and horns like those used to celebrate New Year's Eve.!
There was a huge section dedicated to motorcycles! At least two motorcycle clubs were represented and the motorcycles were all tricked out and spit shined!
One group was called the Steel Angels of Costa Rica. We had no idea such large and beautiful motorcycles resided in Costa Rica. In Berlin we are only blessed with the little noisy ones!
Every age was included in the bands from very young to very old.
This video is to give you the feeling of being at the Festival Palmares!! And...you didn't have to stand there for 3 1/2 hours!! This band was at the end when it was dark so I hope you can see what's going on!! Enjoy!