Parades of Fiestas celebrating the founding of Quito burst into full swing once the queen is crowned in November culminating December 6, Founder's Day. The party atmosphere really grabs hold on November 27.
Music and smells of good food ooze throughout the city. Expect spontaneous dancing in the street. Chivas carry live music unannounced.
Be ready for traffic jams at any time.
For many years bullfights broke into full encounter in the arena at the end of the trolley line for nine straight days until they were voted out by animal lovers... just as casinos were voted out by the citizens. But you can still watch bullfights outside the city.
Since the bullfights neither showed up as bullfights or corridas de toro in the schedule Angel brought me, I had no idea what to expect. Even so, I eagerly set out to participate.
I hopped on the trolley at Guayaquil y Montufar at the Hermano Miguel stop. When I reached the trolley station at the end of the line, I spotted the arena.
The intense sun prompted me to buy a Panama hat at a booth outside the arena for all of $12.00.
Walking vendors sold tickets outside the arena. I sliced the price down to half before paying $40.00. Oblivious to what I would see, I looked for the line with the number on the door that matched the number on my ticket. There I waited and waited.
After what seemed like days, the door opened, and I followed the crowd in search of the seat number on the ticket. It wasn't easy, but I found it - almost front row! This made it worth the price and the wait!
Plowing my way through the row of the bleacher that matched my number, I found lots of smiles but no place to sit. One of the spectators checked my ticket number and quickly got everyone to squeeze together. I then squished into the space opened for me.
After I sat down, I sensed an approaching bullfight! Not ever having included myself in one in all my life, my excitement brimmed over almost into hysteria!
The bull never wins, of course, but the matadors in pink tights more than make up for it with the art form required to turn these animals into steaks.
Quito fiesta parades feature people and culture but very few floats, except for the one carrying the queen. The endless enthusiastic participation of young and old impressed me... so many photos to fill albums with memories.
Stilt walkers hyphenate the themes...themes that include those of school children, colonial senior citizens, other cities in Ecuador and a mega assortment of bands with atypical instruments, such as xylophones.
Even the military merges in with the march, playing various instruments in the historic center parade.
The music, always festive, transports Quito into celebration mode.
Outdoor dancing and fireworks erupt every night in different places in the colonial area and elsewhere, I'm sure, in spontaneous combustion.
Groups of laughing celebrants stride the sidewalks.
Each and every day, there erupt constant reminders of the ongoing FIESTA! The Fiestas de Quito, parades and all, bring on the colonial to the hilt!
Find out how the queen is chosen and prepared for the great day by subscribing to my middle-of-the-month newsletter, Quito Colonial Chatter - Mitad del Mes. Plus, keep up with the latest news and page changes and additions to my website.
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