Cinco de Mayo 2012

The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta 2012 is in full swing in Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. (Read about Cinco de Mayo 2013 here!)I wrote about it last year, too. It is a rich cultural event that at the same time seems chock full of colliding messages. Yesterday I walked across Naito Parkway to spend a lunch hour there.

The admission was free, but usually it costs to get in.

The atmosphere was similar to any of the carnival-type events that visit most cities starting this time of year, but with a local spin. These four charming girls walked by.

I noticed that their hair was all pulled back into identical knitted covers, so I guessed they were performing at the Fiesta.

Ballet Papalotl performed on one of the main stages:

Here was some sort of chili pepper game, apparently. Was the attendant bored because he had no customers, or did the customers stay away because he looked bored?

There were many places to buy pretty things like this,

and this:

And these pictures were for sale:

Air brush tattoos were five dollars and guaranteed to last for ten days. Here a girl was choosing a design and the exact placement.

The stencil was in place and the airbrush was deployed.

The finished tattoo:


And one more:

The poster here depicts beauty that is very different from the real beauty of Latinas and actually all women.

At Ernesto’s Peluqueria, beauty is serious business.

Here is a young woman observing, and learning the art from an elder:

A proud father held up this caricature drawing for me to photograph. It depicts his two daughters and their friends.

And in real life:

The Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters was recruiting.

The food was high drama.

Fruta picada is chopped fresh fruit with chile and lime.

These were popular – apparently “ruedas” is Spanish for “wheels”. The brand sold here is made in Hillsboro, Oregon.

No one was buying food here:

These women seemed happily sealed into their cozy Tupperware cave. I’ll bet they would love to fill a swimming pool with colorful little plastic containers and dive in.

If you read my post about Cinco de Mayo 2011, you will recognize the characters below. They are right out of a nightmare. Fairy tales can be so dark.

There was a lot to see – naturalization ceremonies, music, dancing, food, arts and crafts, and people. Understandably, these folks took a rest.


4 responses to “Cinco de Mayo 2012

  1. funny!! And the beautiful pictures make me miss Portland (though I have to say I think Louisiana has PDX beat on the festival scene overall). p.s. interesting to see that the circumcision lobby is on board as well.

  2. Terry Dalsemer

    I just discovered your blog.

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