This is a big weekend in Panama, Carnaval, it has a slightly different twist in Boquete. Carnaval Panama’s version of a religious festival in anticipation of lent began yesterday with parties in much of the country. Although Tuesday is the only paid holiday for the private sector, government workers are off until Thursday. They did work extra days in compensation, but this makes for a five day party time for many.
There are places like Boquete that do not have Carnaval celebrations, others like Las Tablas that revel in the event. Carnaval in Panama is a party for the young in body and spirit. It consists of rum, seco, beer and lots of water. You traditionally ingest the rum, seco and beer and are sprayed with the water. Local news channels have been building the expectations for a few weeks showing people buying special Carnaval clothing mostly very short shorts and tee shirts. Consider Carnaval in places like Las Tablas a massive wet tee shirt party. The closest Carnaval town to Boquete is Dolega, so if you want to experience Carnaval Panama style you now know were to go. If take a camera make it waterproof because and wear a too be wet tee shirt.
It is politically significant as well as an acknowledgement of the party that that MINSA, the health ministry will be distributing free condoms at Carnaval events. I wonder how many will be used as water balloons?
While Carnaval is happening in Dolega Bid4Boquete, the annual fund raiser for Boquete charities is having their main events. Today they started with a art and home wear show in the BCP. I was there buying some art this morning, you should too. The money goes to good causes and there are good things there.
Tonight is the annual Wine Tasting, it sold out before I bought tickets; I never plan far enough in advance. Tonight is also the live auction of some really nice stuff.
Tomorrow in the Arco Iris room of the Fair grounds is the main event for the entire Boquete community, more auctions, silent and more. Lots of food, events for children and who knows what more. The doors open at noon and the worker bees are preparing today.
If you do need a little of the Carnaval experience a little closer to home Tuesday is the day, Fuzion Grill is the place. For music, drink and jambalaya, New Orleans style. The ban Tequila Mockingbird is mixing free drinks for the first on the scene and the Boquete Jazz and Blues festival will have hurricanes and food for those who make a small donation.
In all these should be a few fun days in all of Panama, Boquete included. Just be careful driving the roads will be shared by both the intoxicated and police with breathalyzers. They have been warning people more than a beer or a shot and you will receive a fine if caught.