Cinco de Mayo 2013! But first, a quick nod to ‘magical realism.’
Suddenly a little girl appeared from around the corner.Her father seemed unaware of any danger.The huge bright eyes and colorful overalls were captivating. Blissfully, the two accepted the green bear’s invitation to climb into its belly.It was at this point that the bear began to whirl, possibly an attempt to still the wriggling child it had just ingested.If the people inside the bear called out imploring it to stop, no one knew. The little girl’s mother watched anxiously, realizing too late that her loved ones were being subjected to a bizarre and unfathomable experience.As they exited the bear’s abdomen, father and daughter appeared to be well. I only hope that today’s experience does not haunt the girl for years to come. Wisely, the child next in line debated whether to subject himself to the power of the ride’s strange imagery and its ability to both astound and overwhelm.Now on to the more explicable parts of Portland’s Cinco de Mayo!
Of course, there were games.She won – high five!
And lots of carnival food.Baked pastry? As opposed to unbaked pastry? Hmm.The crowd seemed to prefer the interesting multi-cultural fare.There was carne asada topped with a whole fresh pineapple.Elotes were corn-on-the-cob, roasted in the husks and served on sticks.There were sugar canes and tropical fruits that I don’t know the names of.Lucy’s Tropical Juice was as fresh and colorful as ever.While I feel healthier on my plant-based whole-food diet, I must say that the Edelweiss Sausages on the grill smelled great.
Botanas Michoacanas, locally produced.People sat in the sun to eat.Traditional crafts such these wooden sculptures,this beadwork,and corn husk dolls were available.This woman’s shop had many items available for purchase, but the amazing and lovely smile was free.These women were selling Christian and traditional spiritual items such as this Jesus poster and the Day of the Dead dolls shown below.There were palm readers.This sign asks passersby, “Are you going to heaven?” It seems these folks have the answer.I was surprised to see these toy assault weapons hanging from the ceiling of one kiosk.I asked what the cloth face masks were for, and he said they are for farmworkers who have to breathe dusty air.Groups of young people shopped,and checked their messages.The bird whistle demonstrator looked bored.Yellow pages, made pretty.Just like every year, there were rides.
On this ride, called “Super Jet,” young children act as either pilot or tail gunner. Several boys were on this ride. No girls.There was face painting,and some older and braver ones got airbrush tattoos.The dragon tattoo below is covered with powder because it is still drying. He said it did not hurt at all.In the big tent, Royal Rosarians were on hand for the afternoon naturalization ceremony.The smaller tent featured dancers,and an a capella group from Portland State University called The Green Note. PSU also had a booth where you could get your picture taken with Victor Viking. Never heard of him? Me either!The Bomberos Latinos were there. This sounds like a great organization working to share knowledge with people in developing countries to help them stay safe.Maybe they were keeping an eye on the bears in overalls, too.