For our last night in Colombia, Lexi and I got to go to the first of the Carnaval pre-parties! We went to watch the Carnaval Queen, Marcella Garcia Caballero, read ‘El Bando’. Basically, it’s the presentation of the Queen to the people, and she tells them that Carnaval is starting and reads off some decrees. The whole thing is played out in the form of an hour-ish musical, with dances and instrumental music going through the history of each of the symbols and costumes associated with Carnaval. While I didn’t understand a whole lot of what the Queen was saying, I could still enjoy the crazy dances and costumes flying around the stage.
After the Queen’s musical-ish-thing, a couple of musical acts came on and entertained everyone until somewhere around 12:30, and people finally started to disperse. Lexi and I had been in the VIP section the entire time, and so we hadn’t actually seen how large the crowd really was. I thought I saw it all from where we were standing, but as we moved out to go look for our car, we saw that most of the side streets were absolutely packed with people. Thousands of locals had come out to dance in the street, drink, and celebrate the first days of Carnaval! It was really cool to see, and overall a fun and exhausting night.
Our family gave us an amazing stay in Colombia, and a great start to our trip! Now it’s on to Santiago, Chile!