The Festival de las Carretas began last night with the coronation of Seńorita Pedasi 2014.
Prior to starting the festivities the Master of Ceremonies led the crowd in a prayer and a moment of silence for a 16 year-old student that had been hit by lightening and killed just before lunch time yesterday. The girl, from Los Ascientos had stood under a tree when the lightning struck. We’d heard the loud boom when it happened and the cats came racing into the house. The strike hit so hard that even though CPR was used they could not save her. There was less of a crowd than is usual at this event and it likely was because not many people felt like celebrating. In the last week several people in Panama have died from lightning strikes, most in the countryside in forested areas.
One of my favorite parts of the evening is the folk dancing with the colorful polleras whirling about and the fancy footwork of the young men. The first dance of the evening was a mix of Pollera Blancas and of colorful striped skirts of the Pollera Montuna Santeña and campesino sombreros. The young men were a combination of the more formal white shirt, black pants and leather shoes and the campesino style striped shirts and chancletas.
The first dance followed the entrance of Señorita Pedasi 2013 and her Tuna:
After the first dance it was time for Señorita Pedasi 2014 to make her entrance with her Compañeros:
Tomorrow…a better look at the beautiful pollera and the coronation on Snapshot Sunday…in the campo.