A week ago was our friend Jon’s birthday so we headed to his site of Villarrica to celebrate with him. Lucky for us, it was also the weekend of Villarrica’s big Carnaval festivities. I had already attended the one in Encarnación, but this was Isaiah’s first Carnaval experience in Paraguay.
The parade started off with some little cuties all dressed up in colorful fluffernutters. Even though it was dark and hard to capture good photos, you still get an idea of how adorable these little girls were.
Each club picks its own theme. So the theme of this first section was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. People were handing out suckers, and floats were decked out Charlie-style.
What you can’t see in these pictures is what’s going on during the whole event in the crowds. Espuma! Spray foam! It’s part of the tradition that is Carnaval and is really part of the fun. It’s fair game to spray anyone – friends and strangers alike – whenever you please. As we walked to our seats, a little boy leaned off the back of the bleachers, aimed, and fired off his can of foam at us. Wiping it out of our eyes (the reason sunglasses were a good idea), we smiled and waved up at the boy and his mom, sharing in the experience of the night.
Most of the costumes were amazingly beautiful. Most were also amazingly skimpy. But all in the name of culture, right? This club’s theme was countries of the world. So of course Nalena snapped this photo of the woman representing her country of origin, Puerto Rico.
Another club picked a movie theme. So we saw Gone With the Wind, Edward Scissorhands, and — the last of the entire night, which passed in front of us around 3:30am — a fire-breathing dragon from Avatar that yes, really did spit fire. The proof is in the video below.
Oh and of course one of my personal favorites was the woman decked out in none other than Black and Gold.
Go Hawkeyes! The feathers, the glitter, the music, and the spray foam all made for a wonderful night in Villarrica, Paraguay.