St. Patricio’s Dia

Insanity, that is the best word I can use to describe St. Patrick’s day in St. Patricio. How else can one describe a crowded town square with everyone chasing bottle rockets, spinning balls of flames, and toros? This was my kind of celebration.

The trip to St. Patricio (neighbor to Melaque and a few miles from Barra de Navidad) began with a full water taxi. Just me and 24 other cruisers.

Only 11 in my group of friends. We jumped in cabs for the short ride to Melaque.

Wanting to see what would be exploding around us later, we checked on the towers of fireworks.

All festivals should start with a parade, in this case size does not matter.

After some tacos and cervezas. We wandered over to a cool bar that recently opened named Alitas where the Don Julio was running low. Not to worry they went across the street to buy a new bottle from the liquor store.

Since the fireworks wouldn’t be starting for awhile, we took our tipsy selves over to the carnival and proceeded to bash each other with bumper cars.

Following the carnival fun, we stumbled on a new street food – deep fried tortilla wrapped pieces of hotdog and hand cut fries topped with crema and hot sauce. Perfect post aggression release food!

Finally the time arrived for the main event. Probably not the best idea, but we rushed over near the towers yet near slight protection of a taco cart awning. I take no shame in saying at times I was scared and sent running. However, many locals planted themselves at the base of the tower where sparks rained down on them. When flamethrowers fell off before burning out they became a target to kick towards your friends.

The “small” tower finale was a spinning disc that took off flying high into the sky before falling to the ground next to a truck. Of course someone grabbed it and held it over their head.

Once the towers burned out, it became time for the running of the toros St. Patricio style – guys would hold on to a wire frame “toro” that has taped on bottle rockets and spinning fireballs. Once lit, they would run through the crowded central square. Rather than scatter the crowd chased the toros. This scene was repeated for HOURS by 20+ toros. I still find myself amazed that no one ended up in the hospital. Wow, what a shockingly fun and exciting night. I can still smell the burning remnants wafting through the air…

Our friends Jody and Randy on Free Luff put together a video that shows the evening from another great perspective:

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