The crazies come out on Sunday
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
The streets of San Miguel de Allende will be filled with color, shrieks of joy and terror and candies tossed by the more than 5,000 people who will dance in the annual Locos Parade honoring San Pascual Bailón and San Antonio.
Fairies, spirits, animals, superheroes, characters from the movies and from national and international public life will gather this year to participate in an act of faith in honor of San Antonio and San Pascual Bailón. The participants, called “los locos” (the crazies), wear showy costumes and dance to the rhythm of a wide variety of music. The locos throw candies to onlookers who enjoy the parade sitting or standing on the sidewalks. Although now many people participate in the parade just for fun, this tradition has its origins in a religious observation.
In the past, San Miguel was surrounded by orchards that were irrigated with water from the springs. During the conquest, the Franciscan friars from the temple of the Tercera Orden (Third Order) used to offer a mass for the orchard workers, asking San Pascual Bailón (patron saint of cooks) for a prosperous year and good harvests, and in the afternoon the orchards were blessed. The friars taught the orchard workers to dance in honor of San Pascual Bailón. The tradition dates from the 19th century.
In the beginning, the orchard workers danced dressed as scarecrows, but as the crowds of observers grew and space became tight for dancing, the workers started bringing raccoons, skunks or opossums to scare the people and make room their festivities, and for that reason the attendees started calling them “los locos.”
The parade will start from Ancha de San Antonio and pass through calles Zacateros, Canal, Hernández Macías, Insurgentes, Pepe Llanos, Mesones, Núñez, San Francisco and Plaza Principal. The authorities from the Civil Protection Department recommend bringing water to the parade and carrying an umbrella. The forecasted temperature is 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit).