Sunday, March 6, 2011

Carnaval Celebrations 2011

It's that time of year again - festival after festival!  We had Sant Medir on Thursday night and on Friday we had Carnaval celebrations at the boys' school.  Saturday was the Carnaval parades throughout the city.  Josh was away this weekend so I was a little limited in what I could do with the boys when it came to Carnaval - I was not prepared to face crowds that I envisioned would be similar to Mardi Gras with two small kids, someone would be bound to get lost.  So I stuck with the local, neighborhood parades which worked out just fine - a bit more mellow, but also very family/kid friendly.

So to backtrack.  On Friday, the kids' had their school's annual Carnaval celebration.  It kicks off with a visit from a local high school performing with their drums and some stilt walkers.  They were also there to close out the parade.  Again, you know me, I love the drums.  You can help but shake your groove thing when they are playing. 

The drummers kick off the BFIS parade!

The BFIS tradition is for the elementary school to do two laps around the patio area in their costumes - each class with a theme.  Liam's class theme was community helpers.  You'll notice that Liam, however, is wearing his Buzz Lightyear costume.  First off, he has maybe 6 or 7 costumes at home - did I really need to go out and buy him a doctor or fireman costume for a 30 minute parade?  And technically, Buzz is a community helper, in fact he is more than that, he is a universe helper!  So really, we went above and beyond, right??? 

Liam and the Nursery class waiting their turn for the parade

Liam's class parade

Aidan's class made their own costumes and this year's theme was Arthur Lobel's Frog & Toad series that the kids have been reading.  They've done this parade before and you can tell compared to the little nursery school kids, but it's still just as much fun to watch them.  Plus there is the pride of ownership with the costumes they have made themselves.

Aidan's class waiting for their turn in the parade.  Aidan is the back row, middle with the blue fleece.

Aidan's class parade

After the parade, the band continued playing but we headed out, leaving school a little early with some friends for some churros and chocolate - yum!!!! 

The bigger Carnaval celebrations were this weekend and while the biggest ones in the area were in another area of Barcelona as well as the beach town of Sitges (this one is probably the one closer to the Mardi Gras parade), since Josh was away (again!) I decided to stick with the local smaller parades.  I didn't want to stress over large crowds by myself with the kids.  There was actually a parade running right thru our neighborhood of Gracia which was perfect.  It took a bit to find the starting point and we finally had to ask the police since we saw people in costumes going in two different directions (probably to some of the other parades in the area).  Finally we ended up on Sant Antoni Maria Claret - right in front of Aidan's friend Sophie's apartment - and one street down from where we live.  

Spiderman riding his bike to the parade

Start of the parade

One of the three floats

Another float - fancy isn't it?  "Almost" like Mardi Gras ;)

Boys watching the parade

Another float

Street cleaners coming in right after they finish going by us - they don't wait a second!

This guy was probably the highlight of the whole parade!

Both Aidan and I agree, the parade was a bit of a letdown. The floats were basically the same trucks taht they had at Sant Medir but dressed up a little bit. There were kids in costumes on the floats (I think there were 3 floats total for this parade) throwing confetti. Liam could have cared less, he was excited to be in his Spiderman costume watching other kids in costumes. The big draw was that literally the whole neighborhood goes out and walks in the parade - both adults and kids getting dressed up. So you walk in between the floats showing off your costumes to onlookers. Now while Aidan told me several times that this parade "is soooo lame Mom", he did not hesitate to jump right in. And the bonus? It went right by our street (had we known this we may not have walked so much to find the start, but hey it's exercise right?) so we just hopped right out at the end.

We jump into the parade mid way thur (we cut thru a side street to catch up)

Video of us walking thru the parade route on our way home: 

Liam meets another Spiderman while walking thru the parade


On our way home

At the corner of our street... Gangsta Spidey and Gangsta Luigi

Horses going by our street

Whew - that's enough festivals this week... next up, I believe is Sant Jordi, coming in a few weeks, but first we should (I say should because we'll see if he does it) have an entry from Josh on his trip to Prague this weekend, which he has told me has been amazing and then we're off to Portugal for Josh's birthday in 2 weeks.  Let the trips begin this year - it's going to be a travel filled next 6 months and I can't wait!!


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