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  • Writer's pictureYuka

The 18th Parade of Carts, Culture, Folklore and the Loose Bull Festival

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

The Festival has returned once again in Pedasi (XVIII Desfile de la Carretas, Cultura, el Folklore y el Toro Suelto- Pedasí)

October 28 to 30, 2022

After 3 years of silence in town, the 18th Parade of carts, Culture, Folklore and the Loose Bull Festival has returned to Pedasi.

This small town Pedasi, in the province of Los Santos Panama was packed with people, filled with energy, music, dance, fireworks and laughter. You could not have asked for better weather for this weekend.

The coronation ceremony

This festival was organized by La Fundación Amigos de Pedasí. It started in 2002 to keep the traditional customs. On Friday night, the coronation of the new queen started. The previous queen Isabel Iveth González Ureña was crowned in 2019. She remained as the queen of Pedasi for 3 years, but now the crown has passed down to Lilia Elena Ramos who is 18 years old, the new queen of 2022-2023. Although Ms. Isabel had a baby during the 3 years, she was not able to crown the new queen herself. Every year, there is a new queen in town. To become a queen, a family offers their daughter as a queen or sometimes the foundation asks the family if they would like her daughter to be the next queen. The Queen represents Pedasi in other festivals where the Fundacion Amigos de Pedasi goes.

Photo Credit to Dana Von Allman

The coronation parade

After the ceremony, the Queen gracefully danced along the square of town, followed by her supporters and bands called Tuna. The fireworks and the live music went on all night. People were happy to gather with friends and family once again.

The Cart Parade and the Loose Bull The cart parade took place on Saturday the next morning. People gathered at the town square excitedly waiting for the parade to start. Each cart represents each surrounding town and groups. Everyone dressed in the traditional Panamanian clothes. There were 2 bulls at the loose bull event. They were let loose in the town square and anybody who catches the bull will win a prize. Pedasi was again filled with joy with the celebration of the festival. Photo Credit to Karen Graves

The Costume

Panama's national outfit is the Gala Pollera for women and the Montuno for men. Pollera is a multicoloured cloth and embroidery dress for women. It can take around 8 months to make a complex design. They also wear gold necklaces, combs called peinetas and tembleques. The tembleques are beautiful beaded hair accessories.

Men wear shirts called camisilla with long pants. White or beige shirt. Sometimes with colourful buttons or with embroidery. You cannot forget the traditional hat, it is called Sombreno pinto along with the sandals called cutarras or black and white shoes called Chinelas and a small bag called Chacara hanging on the left side of the body.

The Violin Contest

On Sunday, there are so many musical talents in Panama. There was a violin contest in town. Each winner won a violin. Some are dancing and some are singing along to the music. This was simply nice. After the 2 days of parting in town, it is nice to sit down and enjoy another side of the traditional part of Panama.

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