In February (yes I know it is almost July, but I feel I should share this cultural event), Anna and I met up in La Vega the “capital” of the carnival events. After a great tip from our taxi driver we ended up staying at Hotel Pegasus, although with how he said it in spanish we did not make sense of the word until we were at the hotel. If you go to La Vega it is an economical hotel with a bar and a pool, just asked to be shown a room before you agree to anything because the one drawback was the bathroom door was a wide open archway and the head of the bead was situated that if you were facing that way you would be seeing the toilet.
After a beer, we went out in search of carnaval. The overview in the DR is groups dress up as devils and parade down the street with a filled grapefruit sized sack to hit anyone’s behind within reach. After a wander down the street, Anna and I decided to situate ourselves on the second level of a restaurant, so we could sit down and watch. Before the official groups came, there were others who walked down dressed in the same shirts or individuals who got creative (a few just with mud).
The outfits were quite elaborate and music was playing, so it was a quite enjoyable show. However, for me, having seen the New Years Day Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, it just wasn’t quite enough. The glitz of the outfit was on par, but the outfits didn’t always have anything to do with the group names and they mostly just walked and smacked bystanders, no routines and specialized songs. So while it was nice not worrying about being freezing for the parade (since my favorites are in November and January), at least from those I don’t go home with a gigantic bruise just from trying to find a side street to leave the parade route. As I said in my title, it’s not Mummers.