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Sunday, January 26, 2014

"White Night" in La Floresta

Wow, January 2014 has had some interesting moments and events. It is the height of summer down here in Uruguay and the days and nights have been HOT, HOT, HOT both literally and figuratively!  Daytime temperatures have been around 95 degrees F /33c. and the nights have been in the 80's.

Thursday, January 16th was the first Full Moon of the year. This usually means that the folks in the town of San Fortin hold their yearly public concert on this full moon night and so they did. Even though, it was a Thursday night, the natural amphitheater was packed. My friends who live there, the ones who invited Wally and I last year, gave me a blow by blow report. My Thursday evenings are spoken for, what with my congregational meetings and Bible study. Still, Most events don't start here until late in the evening 9:30PM and on (due to a power outage the event was delayed in starting until10:30), which meant, I could attend both the meeting and the concert. However, I had been so over heated that day from walking in the heat (my feria/ grocery morning is also on Thursdays) that after the meeting I decided to skip the concert and just go home. I was saving my energies for the next night, the 17th of January!

Friday, January 17th , the city of La Floresta was holding their celebrated "White Night" event. This event has nothing to do with the moon at all. I've done a post before on the little beach town of La Floresta and as mentioned in that post, the people of La Floresta like to sponsor art events. The city has sculptures scattered all through it. It also has some interesting and varied architecture which the "White Night" event highlights. 

This night was bright ( remember the full moon was only the night before) and it was hot, so we waited until 10Pm to arrive. The idea of the "White Night" theme is that during this night the city is bathed in bright spot lights to highlight the various styles of houses and as a sort of "snap shot" or Kodak moment into the life of that town. Residents who own odd, interesting or old houses allow bright lights to shine on their houses and present a little vignette of how charming or interesting their place is. Often, they themselves will sit out in front of them and "pose" and stay frozen in that pose, in a sort of living still life. People like me will stop and take their photos. It's like we are peeking in on their lives.  

Many of the houses will have its history listed out front so you can read about it while passing by. Some houses mention things like who lived there, maybe the town doctor or some famous or important person. Others, mentioned that theirs was the first or second house built in the town or things like that.

The vignettes they provide are very charming! In addition to the community cast and their homes, tucked in here and there are little bands of musicians and various art booths. 

When we first arrived, there was a stage we walked by, where two young women were shaking their stuff in a fast and furious Salsa dance. The stage and lightening setup was grand but the music was canned and they may or may not have been lip-syncing. I politely stopped and watched for a minute, I took their photo and moved on. However, hidden down one of the town's streets was a band of young men under a simple blue light who were really playing some fine contemporary music . Their sound was mellow and smooth. I liked them so much that I stopped and recorded them. I would have stayed but my friends moved on, so I followed them instead.

If music wasn't your thing there were art displays and fun art like statements spread around. Some pieces were actually woven into the city. A picnic area now had knitted "Granny squares" lining the support poles. and one street had a canopy of rag ribbons tied overhead to walk under.

Some streets had lighted candles and fabric flowers hung in their trees. I just had to get a picture of myself under that romantic scene.

The local church in the big plaza had singers out front singing songs about Uruguay. Of course, always my favorite to view, were some antique cars on display. I even got a photo of an original "paddy wagon" a jail truck.

Everyones' favorite attraction of the "White night" event however, was the techno light presentation that was held at midnight. The main, art deco styled, hotel building in town is transformed into a giant outdoor screen.

What is so interesting about the show is that all of the lights in the hotel are turned off by midnight so the windows are blacken but the light show called mapping takes into account the many windows in its display. The windows and the building are part of the show.
I hope you can see how wild and weird the giant screen show was by watching this section that I filmed. 
I will be posting on 2 other events that happened in January, this first month of the year.

All in all, 2014 is off to a running start and I have camera and blog (pen) at the ready!

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