I have never seen so many horses! Someone said there were 5000 horses and riders participating.
The parade, or cabalgata, takes place every year on March 19th and people come from everywhere to participate. We have been seeing horses in people’s yards and empty lots all around the neighborhood. On the day of the parade there were people riding horses through town, driving them in trucks, and putting them in every sort of available space.
The parade was supposed to start around 3 PM. My neighbor said we should go around 1-2 PM so we can find a space to watch since there will be a large crowd. We actually went about 3:30 and we still had to wait for over an hour for things to get underway. But, when things started happening there were hundreds and hundreds of horses coming down the street! We were lucky and ended up at a gas station on a sharp angled corner. The parade came up on our right, turned in front of the gas station, and proceeded down the street on our left. We had a perfect spot to see everything!
Everyone was gathered for the parade, and the street looked very festive!
Some people rode their horses up to see what is going on (or not going on yet)
Activity increases, and a carriage and some horses go by.
A few more horses go by and it’s starting to look like it’s really happening.
The police are also on horseback today.
The elections are coming up soon so there were a number of political candidates represented. I couldn’t see who this was through the crowd.
The water hose at the gas station was used frequently to hose down horses and give them a drink. It was a hot day.
Kotex people in pink shirts were giving out rolls of toilet paper. The truck says something about Kotex giving gifts of shoes.
The crowds of horses increase now.
and more and more horses!
This lady has done a beautiful job of grooming her horse.
Another nice looking horse. It was not unusual to see riders talking on cell phones.
Of course there were many darling children both watching and riding.
We ran into my friend Oliver.
Most Panamanian horses are rather small, but this gray one was quite big.
If you look closely you can see the sparkles braided into the mane of this horse.
More horses! Don’t stand close to the curb.
There was a truck towing a trailer that was being used to explore fireworks! They and the band on the truck behind were stirring up excitement for Navarro who was coming up the street.
Navarro, possibly the next president of Panama. Yep, on a horse, in the middle of the street, no secret service, excited people taking photos with cell phones, shaking his hand, and wishing him success.
The little girl is cute, but also look to the left of the photo. That little boy was sound asleep in the saddle.
Beautiful and unusual horse
Another beautiful little girl riding in the parade.
Large, black, and very beautiful horses!
You can always put a horse on the front of a tractor and get out there.
A very interesting and unusual horse.
A water buffalo! (looking hot and less than thrilled with this whole parade idea)
Girls handing out beer to parade participants.
The coolers of water and drinks in front of the gas station were very popular.
A young girl on a beautiful horse.
If you want a feel for what it was like there, watch this 3 1/2 minute video.