This morning while waiting on the young man who delivers our bread (who has not arrived at this point) I heard music in the distance. Camera at the ready I caught this group of young men drive past our house.
San Clemente is celebrating its annual fiesta this weekend, so this may be a part of those festivities.
There was a seafood festival this weekend in San Alejo, the next town. During the day many different seafood specialties were available and in the evening there was a fiesta with dancing. We were awakened this morning around 4am to the sounds of music and singing flowing into our home. This continues as I write this with several men hanging around a running pickup truck out in the street right at the corner of our home. It is now after 7am, the sun is up and the party continues.
Don’t get me wrong, Joe and I love Vicente Fernandez – his music is wonderful, We love all the festivals that will be happening in this area over the next few months. But I am just not sure we will ever get used to having music playing outside our bedroom windows for a good part of the night. This is our adopted home and we are adapting to the cultural differences, Honestly I had several hours of sleep prior to their arrival and considered joining in the fun, OH SORRY this looked to be an all male activity, Oh well.
The truck drove away at 8am leaving just the chickens announcing the beginning of the day. And it is a good day.
It was a beautiful evening to take a walk downtown and see how San Clemente celebrates for New Year’s Eve.
It was a great time, we arrived downtown even before the sun set, Joe laughs at me all the time, we are not night people, we are not party people so when it gets to be 8:30pm Joe calls it Nancy Midnight. But last night it was different, we sat at one of the outside areas, Fredy came over, El Gato visited for a few minutes and a few more of the local folks that we have come to know here. Then some of the expats arrived and the crowd started to get into the celebrating mood.
All of the effigies have a personal meaning for those that built them, they are filled with the bad things that happened in 2012 and were burned in a huge bonfire at midnight.
Mary and I were trying to learn the basic moves for the San Clemente Shuffle or Samba or Salsa from Fredy, who knows at this point we were just having a great time. I did get to dance with a few of my neighbors, Jorge (Tu tu ta) who lives behind us and Nellie whose home is across the street from ours.
Patricia served us all tasty homemade eggnog. Below is a link to a short video of the crowd. It was great fun and we were back home way before the fireworks.
These are the small boats that the fishermen in this area use. They go out in teams of two around 3:30 in the afternoon.
During festival week one of the activities on the program was a boat parade with the Virgin. It was not exactly a boat parade, it was more a procession of people carrying the Virgin statue to each fleet location on the beach.
After the procession up the beach the fisherman started taking folks out on their boats. Here are a few short videos to let you see how these guys make it over the incoming waves, it actually makes my stomach feel like it is flipping and in the boat with them.
During this week and through the weekend the Festival of San Clemente is going on. Every evening during the week until Thursday night starting at 8pm Mass will be offered next to the Virgin statue in centro. Different neighborhoods sponsor these Masses and refreshments supplied by the neighborhood will follow the service.
Thursday night is a cultural event with local talent supplying the entertainment starting at 8pm.
Friday there are several activities planned including a parade at 2:30pm, with a dance starting at 10pm
Saturday finds the community participating in a boat parade at 9am starting at Vivianas Restaurant with a procession through the town Saturday morning at 10am carrying the Virgin to the church. At 11am a free gastronomic festival sponsored by the Godparents with various stands supplying food. 8pm Grand Mass Saturday evening in the Church of San Clemente where baptisms and weddings will be performed. A parade returning the Virgin from the church to the main street shrine will process after Mass with a dance at 10 pm with a free orchestra. 11pm is the spectacular fireworks display.
Sunday at 2pm games will be offered and dancing starting at 10pm.
This is an annual festival packed with fun for everyone.