I went down to the center to check out the military parade this afternoon. I expected a large crowd but coming up the steps from the Subte found myself taken aback by the amount of people. It was nearly impossible to get a sight of anything, and as a short guy, I struggled just to see the tops of heads walking by. People were hanging off of street lamps and leaning out of windows as helicopters flew by. I’ve been to parades before, so I knew that standing in one place would get boring quickly. I also remembered an old line from Mitch Hedberg. “If you find yourself bored while watching a parade, walk in the opposite direction. It’s like fast forwarding it.”
I moved along Avenida Corrientes towards the Obelisk trying to find a spot to get a peak, but again it was nearly impossible. At one point I was able to see a few historically dressed soldiers walk by, but it wasn’t until the mounted regiments came through that I could see more. I took a few photos and listened as the national anthem was played by the band. Some people in the crowd joined in as well, until the last troops moved past and the barricades were soon overrun. It took almost 30 minutes just to cross into the other end of the avenue, and after that point I’d lost all interest in standing around. It’s only the second day of the festivities, and I’ve got plans to meet up with friends on Tuesday for the closing events. Apparently that will be the best day to head over.
Otherwise, unless parades are really your thing, it might only be worth checking out once and for a few minutes. Just small doses. Many Porteños use this time off to get out of the city anyway, whereas people from the provinces come in to see the city. I’m considering taking a little afternoon trip to San Isidro, a northern town about 30 kilometers from the city, on Monday afternoon. We’ll see how it goes. Here are some photos from the day.