Saturday, 08 September 2018 20:25

Desfiles de los Niños - Fiestas de Santa Fe's Pet Parade

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Desfile de los Niños, 1949 Desfile de los Niños, 1949 Peter Stackpole

One of my favorite events of Fiestas de Santa Fe is Saturday morning's Desfile de los Niños, also known as the Pet Parade.  Since the 1930s, kids have dressed up their pets and paraded around the Plaza.  My father did it, I did it, and my children did it.  From a kid's point of view, it's exciting to have perhaps your first moment in the spotlight, and from the adults point of view, it's the cutest thing ever.  But participating is not without its' difficulties.

In 1952, my parents decided that it was our turn.  Not satisfied with putting crepe paper flowers and a tutu on our dog, my dad found a burro that he rented for $20.  My mom made my brother David and I little Mexican peon outfits, complete with sombreros.  Mom later told me that she stayed up all Friday night finishing "the g-- d----- things."  Saturday morning, we met the guy with the burro at the beginning of the parade and saddled up.  The owner said that he would meet us at the end.  It was really fun being the center of attention.  For maybe a block.  At that point, Señor Burro had had enough and came to a dead stop.  With the parade backing up behind us, my dad and a friend of his tugged, pushed, cursed, and slapped him on the rump, to no avail.  As the rest of the parade squeezed by us, I remember standing on the curb and realizing that our parade was over.  That burro stayed right where he stopped until long after the parade had passed.  His owner finally showed up, took up the halter rope, and led him docily away,  Why my dad didn't have him stick around during the entire parade I never found out.

In the mid 1970s, we entered our daughters and our dog Sophie.  This time it was much simpler - crepe paper flowers and a tutu.  Unfortunately, this was the one year that the Fiesta Council decided to hold the parade in the afternoon rather than the morning.  A half hour into the parade the pavement had gotton so hot that dogs were heading for any shade they could find and refusing to move.  I ended up carrying Sophie for most of the route while my kids got to wave at the crowd.

It seems to be more fun watching the parade than participating in it.  But, given the chance, I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Read 176 times Last modified on Sunday, 09 September 2018 02:34
Mike Lord

4th generation Santa Fe Gringo.

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