All that to say that we understood the concept of Carnival, but had no idea what we were really in for. Thousands of people lined the streets, most of them in some sort of costume. We deduced that this is where all the old Halloween costumes go after October 31st. Costume venders were everywhere with all you might need to dress up like fairies, Scream, cowboys, Superman, and traditional Mardi Gras merrymakers. Every corner had food stands with Pita gyros, sausages, and kebabs. Music was blaring from speakers positioned every 50 meters up and down the streets - good Euro club dance music. And then of course there was the parade. Megan described it as a huge moving party. Community groups chose themes, dressed up, created a float, and danced their way down the street. It was a bit like our Solstice parade back in Santa Barbara but on steroids. There was more music, fun, and wild-and-craziness than I’ve ever witnessed. And while the alcohol flowed quite freely among the paraders and from them to the crowds there was nothing unruly about the event. Even the police along the parade route seemed to enjoy the revelry. By the size of the crowd there we estimated that the entire island was in attendance.
The highlight of the parade, and definitely something that needs to be added to our parades back home, was the painting crew. One community group dressed up in white French painter outfits, complete with berets. As they danced down the street they proceeded to paint each other and the spectators. It was amazing.