Police estimate that as many as 7,000 Cuencanos, tourists and expats turned out for Thursday’s “Noche de los Compadres” at Parque Calderon, to listen to music, watch dances, and slime each other with aerosol foam.
The event marks the beginning of the Carnaval celebration, which continues through next Tuesday.
Throughout the evening, crowds gathered around the performance stage at the southwest corner of the park, where dignitaries were introduced and dancers performed. Later, singers and musical groups Miño, Don Medardo and his Players, and the Victor Jara group took the stage, performing until midnight.
Although most of the park action involved participants coating each other, head to toe, with foam, some fiestistas attached garden hoses to nearby faucets for a super-soaker assaults. Police attempted to stop the hosings but with mixed results.
Vendors selling traditional Carnaval sweets reported brisk sales.
Photo credit: El Tiempo