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Our lodging was located within Panama City carnival activities and their festivities became mine as well. The ox driven wagon carrying the Carnival Princess was quite different than I expected, but then so was the Carnival itself.
Panama loves its` Carnival. Party time for everyone, with four full days off. This is the time for the city to rest & to party. Most business locations are closed so that the majority can enjoy the festive party atmosphere. Many Panamanians travel to small towns in the country for specific Carnival festivities, but Panama City also enjoys four days of parades & festivals.
This carnival really is for the citizens of Panama but as a visitor it does allow one to be a participant. Seeing the native bands and queens from the neighborhood suburbs is a site that should not be missed. It made one want to participate as many did. Being one that was able to communicate (even at times when there were distinct language differences) made this a fun time and one where a return would be appreciated. A major point to consider would be that the route used was a main business road and it was actually closed for four full days.