I just heard this morning that our Lempira Day parade has been cancelled for this year! Normally, July 20th brings us the excitement of multiple parades, vendor booths in the parks, a rodeo and concert, packed hotels, busy restaurants, crowds of visitors, and loads of family fun. I'm hearing that some of the events will happen as usual, but the parades are out.
I understand the reasons for the decision, however. Schools have been mostly not in session since the beginning of June, and many of the preparations for the parades are done by the schools. The students create the costumes, have beauty contests to choose the girls who will represent the "beautiful Indian," and the school marching bands rehearse their presentations. None of this preparation has been happening, with the schools closed.
Additionally, the swine flu situation has apparently become a major problem in San Pedro Sula. I haven't heard much about this, since the news recently has been all about the political situation, but there is a fear that crowds of people (a large percentage of whom come from San Pedro Sula) swarming the streets of Gracias would cause a sudden large increase in the infection rate in this area.
We're sorry to miss this lovely, family-friendly part of the Lempira Day celebration this year! In case you've missed it in the past, here are some posts with pictures from previous Lempira Day parades:
2007 Lempira Day Parade
2008 Lempira Day Parade