Sunset in PV

Sunset in PV

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8, 2013 “Kites and Piñatas”

Try as I do, to keep current on the blog, it seems increasingly harder the longer we are Winter Texans. When we first arrived here in the RGV, CC and I were both easily frustrated by how slow life’s pace was. The people here drive slow, walk slow, talk slow (unless you are trying to communicate in Spanish, then they spit out the words faster than my ears can comprendo). In fact we both commented when we first arrived, “If I get slow like that, just shoot me”. But, since actions speak louder than words, it seems we have in reality, adjusted quite well, as the frequency of our blog illustrates.

The first weekend in February, the 13th Annual Kite Festival was held on South Padre Island (SPI), and we planned on driving the 55 miles, spend the day, and return home Saturday evening. We got caught up in traffic due to a parade in Los Fresnos, and more congestion in Port Isabel, due to construction on the causeway. What is normally an hour drive, turned into almost 2 hours. It seems the locals have adopted the sluggish behavior of the Winter Texans. We finally arrived to SPI around 11 am, and proceeded to the festival held on the flats north of the Convention Center. The weather was perfect; warm with a slight breeze. (As usual, click on any image to enlarge)

Maybe we had high expectations, due to all the pre-festival hype on the local television stations. We both were a little under-whelmed, thinking we would experience something similar to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, only with kites, since this was billed as the largest kite festival in North America. We stayed for a couple of hours, hoping to see more, but that didn’t happen, so as we left, we checked that off our bucket list, and headed home.

It’s hard to believe we have been here for 10 weeks, as it seems like we just arrived yesterday. Over the past weeks on our visits to Nuevo Progreso (NP) I have accumulated photos of various Piñatas available. In Mexico, they are used at birthdays, and anytime a party for kids is given.  They are empty when you buy them, and are then filled with candy, small toys, money, etc., by the person hosting the party.

The papier-mâché constructed Piñata is usually hung from a tree branch on a rope, five or six feet above the ground. The children are blindfolded, one at a time, spun around a few times to disorient them and given a stick to swing at the hanging Piñata. The children take turns attempting to hit the Piñata hard enough to cause it to break, thus freeing the candy and gifts for the screaming party-goers.

These are but a small sampling of Piñatas available. They will even “custom-make” one if you provide them a sketch or picture. Prices are really cheap, and range from $5 for the smaller ones to less than $20 for the larger more elaborate ones. What sets the host back is the plethora of candy and gifts placed inside.

Almost all of the department stores in NP sell Piñatas. There is even one “Party Store” that specializes in anything and everything associated with parties that have a huge selection of Piñatas ranging in size, price and subject matter. They also sell costumes, which are also very popular in Mexico.

Over the last three winters we’ve been in the RGV, we’ve seen many parties and parades hosted by the local Hispanics, as well as south of the border. They LOVE a party, of any type. But a true party includes a Piñata (or two), food (lots of it),  cerveza fria, loud, loud music and fireworks. If you are ever invited to a party given by them, accept the invitation, and go and witness something you have never seen before. They LOVE their parties; maybe that’s why they are always happy and smiling.

That’s all for now. Take care and stay well, until next time………………….