September 16th is Mexico’s July 4th.
And it’s a big holiday here. Building are festooned with red, white and green banners and decorations. Flags are flying. Centros are spruced up.
On the day itself, Mexico turns out. The streets are crowded with families walking and eating and laughing and just having a good old time.
The malecon here is Chapala was packed.
On a nice warm day, ice cream (or helados) is a big seller and lots of vendors along the malecon are happy to supply it.
There’s also the Mexican version of three card monte. I got corralled into trying it out. It’s played on a board resembling the Chinese Checkers board I used to play as a kid. And I was given three marbles. I’m supposed to drop the marbles and wherever the marbles land, the points are added up. That total then is worth a certain number of points, or you can lose a number of points.
If you accumulate the requisite number of points, you have your choice of prizes. Flat-screen tvs, kitchen appliances and the like.
People are lined up for boat rides on the lake.
Everybody wants their picture taken with the Chapala sign.
And some families engage the floating bands of musicians to play for them.
It was just wonderful.
Yet the star of the day was definitely the greased pole. While I was walking down the malecon, I saw a pole being installed close to where the volcunaros practice. I wasn’t sure what it was. On my way back, a big crowd had gathere around the pole, from which now huge several very large plastic bags with goodies inside.
I asked one of the bystanders and found out that this was the Mexican equivalent of the proverbial greased pig chase. Whoever could climb the pole and could pull down the prizes got to keep them.
And oh what fun it was. The crowd cheered and several young men tried and failed. Then several of them banded together. And the magic happened. Enjoy the videos!