We left our hostel at 8am heading to the Plaza de Armas to get a good look at the costumed paraders as they started. The parade had already begun by the time we got down to the square but we needn’t have worried that we missed too much as it turned out that the parade lasted all day and most of the night.
One by one, groups of colorfully adorned Peruvians and their small bands paraded around the square passing by the judging panel before turning the corner out into the surrounding streets where they marched out to find a picnic spot in surrounding city squares. Here they would merrily set up their small grills, pull out crates of beer and proceed to have a party in honor of the great sun god.
Hour and hour after hour after hour this went on; thousands and thousands of paraders made their way around the Plaza and into the streets beyond. The city was soon filled with joy, happiness and drunk Peruvians and still the parade was not over.
They paraded well into the night; long after I had gone to bed I could still hear the parade marshall on his bullhorn. I would guess it was well over 16 hours when I finally fell asleep but they were still not finished. Truly the worlds longest parade!
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