The rooster next door gave one loud crow at 10:40 reminding me that while the 10:00 am Independence Day Parade was likely on Belize time, the clock was ticking and I better get my one errand done and get to the festivities.
As I was heading down Back St. in my sensible black t-shirt and athletic skirt, I thought how this event is like Halloween in reverse.
11 years ago I started out wearing cute or sexy sporty color themed September Celebrations outfits. Now I have transitioned to comfortable and sun protection for parade day wear. The reverse part – in Canada as I got older the Halloween costumes got less skimpy and more cold weather practical. In San Pedro it is huge, (Annual Holiday Hotel Halloween Party) and being as we are never under the impending doom of winter, we can wear anything and not worry about freezing our bits off.
Even in the sexiest costumes, it was hard for anyone to remain cute, but they did a great job. It was officially “hot enough to fry an egg on a golf cart” and we were all dripping.
I started out heading towards the high school, planned meet up area with my friend Cindy, as we were looking to find her daughter Tinker and Tink’s dad Andy, who were sailing there.
I found a great vantage point, not crowded, shade, a beverage shelf (fence ledge) and a great yard party to watch while waiting. Turns out the rooster was right about being on Belize time. The scheduled 10:00 am start began crawling by at noon.
Just as the parade started sirens blaring my phone rang; it was Cindy. I held up phone knowing she would understand the loud wailing noise meant I was in the thick of things and could not talk.
We promptly started texting and after the first float I headed down to the Phoenix to find her. Turns out Tink and her dad had sailed up to Tiki Maya (the old Palapa Bar) so we watched the parade on our own and planned to hook up later in the park.
As always loads of people were clustered throughout town waiting for the parade to pass by.
This year I unexpectedly ended up doing my own parade route and caught the start of the parade 3 times, Boca Del Rio, Phoenix Resort and once more in town.
This next group gets a shout out for great customer service. I bought a small appliance at Island City Supermarket the other day and the cashier had the bag girl open the box and test it. She discovered that the motor was not working great and proceeded to get me the other one which worked much better. I totally appreciated this small gesture, it saved me getting frustrated, walking back to try and explain and return – that was huge.
As it was coming to an end we decided to boldly swim upstream and head towards the beach where Cindy’s cart was parked. The plan was to hightail it down the back road, bypass the parade and catch it on front street with Tinker and Andy.
The party in the park after is always a fun people watching experience. They did chalk party and helicopter drop again this year but we did not stay that long – we were well fried and ready for an air-con break at my house.
As we walked back to my apartment I enjoyed a happy ending feeling washing over me.
After 11 years it is easy to do something out of routine and feeling like you would not care if you missed it this time around. My day kind of started like that and although the parade was very small this year, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was taken back to the fun feeling (in a slightly different way) of the first time I unexpectedly saw it all those years ago.