Pase del Niño is back on but without the pomp and circumstance; Años Viejos parade is cancelled
Following emergency meetings Friday between the Catholic Archdiocese and city officials it was decided that the annual Pase del Niño Christmas Eve parade would proceed but without most of the participants and onlookers. The church and city said they would release final details Tuesday but said the event would consist of a “motorized caravan” transporting the Niño statue.
It appeared that the event was cancelled entirely on Thursday after Cuenca Police Chief Andrés Vicuña said that the parade had not received approval prior to the December 14 deadline set by the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE).
According to Mayor Pedro Palacios, the COE does not object to a procession of vehicles escorting the Niño if there are no marchers and limitations for bystanders. In the 2019 parade, more than 20,000 participated in the parade, most of them on foot or horseback.
Some church officials were angered by the claim they had not received permission for the parade, saying they thought the meetings held with city officials in November and early December constituted approval. The church curia admitted, however, that they did not file paperwork for the event.
During the earlier meetings, organizers proposed moving the parade to Av. Huayna Capac from the traditional Calle Simon Bolivar route but in subsequent discussions, city officials said it should remain in Bolivar with crowd restrictions.
In other parade news, the Amistad Club said it was cancelling the January 6 Años Viejos parade. Club President Cesar Vanegas said concern about the omicron Covid variant and the recent rise in other coronavirus virus cases required the cancellation of the event, also called the Day of the Innocents parade.
Also on Friday, Palacio announced that the sale of New Year’s Eve dummies, or monigotes, would be allowed to proceed for vendors with sales permits. The dummies will not be allowed to be burned on city streets on New Year’s Eve, according to new COE rules.