Saturday was a special day for everyone who lives in Limón

Saturday morning the streets of Limón were clean and chairs were lined up on the sidewalks in preparation for the parade, which departed from Parque Vargas sometime after 1 p.m.

The elaborate float put forth by the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo contained young Limón residents  complete with hard hats. Costumed marchers from the refinery union, the Sindicato de Trabajadores Petroleros, Químicos y Afines, spent the time handing out colorful brochures with the message, “Si a la refineria.”

A proposed new refinery nearby has run into contractual roadblocks.

It was a beautiful day with a fresh breeze to blow away the usual humidity. The atmosphere was warm as old friends and neighbors met and embraced. This was a special day for everyone who lives in Limón, but even tourists and visitors shared the excitement of celebrating the AfroCaribbean culture. Parents fussed over gorgeously dressed children. Women worried over unfamiliar African headdresses. The men were in style, too, with everything from the popular bright yellow tunic to a white, priestly-looking head dress and matching silk suit. This was the day to show off.

On the main boulevard, onlookers and participants mingled in colorful costumes and fancy dresses. Until it officially began, there was no way of telling who was going to be in   the parade and who was going to stand back on the sidewalks and let the marchers go by. The town center was packed as calypso music blared from several floats. One float carried a local calypso band playing live music. Several local churches had colorful floats with spiritual themes.

On one float a heavily robed man portrayed Jesus while his companions waved bright flags.

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