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Cinco de Mayo 2013

Cinco de Mayo 2013! But first, a quick nod to ‘magical realism.’

Just inside the entrance, I was immediately confronted with the attraction called “Bear Affair.” The bears seemed unwilling to face me, probably due to our encounters in 2011 and 2012.

Trying to HideSuddenly a little girl appeared from around the corner.Little Girl by BearHer father seemed unaware of any danger.Little Girl with DadThe huge bright eyes and colorful overalls were captivating. Blissfully, the two accepted the green bear’s invitation to climb into its belly.Lucino BeckonsIt was at this point that the bear began to whirl, possibly an attempt to still the wriggling child it had just ingested.In the BellyIf 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.Concerned MotherAs 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.ThinkingNow on to the more explicable parts of Portland’s Cinco de Mayo!

GamesOf course, there were games.Games 2GameShe won – high five!
High FiveAnd lots of carnival food.Bacon BurgerCandy ApplesCorn DogsFunnel CakesBaked pastry? As opposed to unbaked pastry? Hmm.Baked PastryThe crowd seemed to prefer the interesting multi-cultural fare.Food LinesThere was carne asada topped with a whole fresh pineapple.Carne AsadaElotes were corn-on-the-cob, roasted in the husks and served on sticks.ElotesThere were sugar canes and tropical fruits that I don’t know the names of.SugarcaneLucy’s Tropical Juice was as fresh and colorful as ever.Lucy's Tropical JuiceChoosing a Fruity DrinkWhile I feel healthier on my plant-based whole-food diet, I must say that the Edelweiss Sausages on the grill smelled great.
Eidelweiss SausageBotanas Michoacanas, locally produced.Botanas MichoacanasPeople sat in the sun to eat.LunchTraditional crafts such these wooden sculptures,Wood Carvingsthis beadwork,Beaded Jewelryand corn husk dolls were available.Corn Husk DollsThis woman’s shop had many items available for purchase, but the amazing and lovely smile was free.For Sale 2These women were selling Christian and traditional spiritual items such as this Jesus poster and the Day of the Dead dolls shown below.Jesus LadiesDay of the Dead Doll SmokingThere were palm readers.Palm Reader, Tarot, Spiritual AdviceThis sign asks passersby, “Are you going to heaven?” It seems these folks have the answer.Are You Going to Heaven?I was surprised to see these toy assault weapons hanging from the ceiling of one kiosk.For SaleI asked what the cloth face masks were for, and he said they are for farmworkers who have to breathe dusty air.Face MaskGroups of young people shopped,Kids Shoppingand checked their messages.KidsThe bird whistle demonstrator looked bored.Bird WhistlesYellow pages, made pretty.Yellow PagesJust like every year, there were rides.
Ferris WheelOn this ride, called “Super Jet,” young children act as either pilot or tail gunner. Several boys were on this ride. No girls.Super JetThere was face painting,Face Paintingand some older and braver ones got airbrush tattoos.Airbrush TattooTattoo is Almost DoneThe dragon tattoo below is covered with powder because it is still drying. He said it did not hurt at all.Tattoo DryingIn the big tent, Royal Rosarians were on hand for the afternoon naturalization ceremony.Royal RosariansThe smaller tent featured dancers,Dancersand 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!Photo with Victor VikingThe Bomberos Latinos were there. This sounds like a great organization working to share knowledge with people in developing countries to help them stay safe.Portland Bombero AssociationMaybe they were keeping an eye on the bears in overalls, too.

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