The Festivities Begin For One of San Pedro’s Oldest Festivals

The social scene on Ambergris Caye can be as busy as you want it.  There is something going on pretty much every night and big fairs, holidays and festivals almost monthly.  But this wasn’t always the case, years ago, local residents (namely the fishermen) were more concerned with catching fish and lobsters than having a huge Lobsterfest block party to celebrate them.  Though some times hard to see now, at its core, San Pedro is an old fishing village.

And years ago, one of the biggest and most celebrated holidays was the Dia De San Pedro.  A week (not just a day) devoted to the patron saint of our town, San Pedro aka St. Peter that starts with religious masses and a blessing of the fishing fleet and ends with dancing, music and fireworks.

Last night was the start of the celebrations and kids and dance troupes from all over town dolled up to celebrate.  The costumes were traditional Mestizo and Mayan and harkened back to the original national heritage of many of the island’s residents.

All the little girls looked so cute…parents must have spent ages putting these costumes together.  (Above is Barbara’s dance company.)

Earlier in the evening, the marimba was set up and tuned.  It’s almost like a large 3-man xylophone with a pretty wooden sound (bad description I know…but I’m sure has some delightful videos you can watch.)

The area around St. Peter’s statue was decorated with lobster traps, fishing nets and symbolic food offerings.

And the kids favorite was in town.  These vendors only come to San Pedro a few times a year and kids go nuts for this stuff.  I witnessed quite a few impressive temper tantrums.

The kids lined up and waited for the mass to finish.

Mom’s helped their daughters fix their head pieces.

One of my favorite performances was this tiny girl belting out this serious and lengthy song.

Sorry that it is on its side…I couldn’t figure out how to flip it this morning!

My photos start deteriorating.  I was helping our at the Lion’s Den bar in the park and the crowd was getting big.

My very favorite performance was by these little girls dressed like shaky old men.

And the final performance was some of the older residents of San Pedro.  Mr Arceo danced with a headpiece with 12 ribbons (for the months of the year) and a symbolic offering of a hog’s head and bread.  The ladies later danced around him.

Rompe Raja, a local band, played late into the night.  A great event organzied by the town council and the Roman Catholic church.  I saw so many families out enjoying the night.

There is still more partying to celebrate the patron saint of San Pedro tonight, Friday, and Saturday night.  Both nights will take place in Saca Chispas (the old football field).  Tonight will be more marimba music, fireworks, the San Pedro dance company and a karaoke competition.  $5bzd for adults at the door and $3bzd for children.  I caught a bit of the set-up for the event yesterday afternoon.

Note:  they do not have the (frankly terrifying looking and overly expensive) Mexican mechanical rides for the kids this year.

Hope to see you out.

What was I writing about one year ago?  Bizarre Store in San Pedro: A&R