This year the Christmas Parade route has moved to the township of Juan Díaz. The parade will begin at two in the afternoon at the Rommel Fernández Stadium and end with a fireworks display in Heliodoro PatiñoPark.
There will be some 17 floats featuring children's stories and movies, including Angry Bird, Cars, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Flintstones, Mickey & Minnie's Christmas, Mrs. Claus and The Cookie Factory, Looney Tunes, Candy Land, Toy World, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with Santa's sleigh. Parade-goers will also be able to enjoy the holiday music played by over 15 school marching bands, 3 Coca Cola trucks decorated in children's themes, a float by the Savings Bank, and another of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP).
Additional parade participants include such groups and associations as the Hindustani Society of Panama, the Iron Cross Panamanian Motorcyclists Association, the Panama Riders motorcycle club, the SWAT 4x4 and Modified Cars Club, AUTOBOT Modified Cars, the Abou Saad Shriners, mobile units, Christmas characters by the group La Tribu, the National Police Band, the Firefighters Band, and the National Air and Navy Service of Panama (SENAN). Further attractions will be artistic performances on three stages, costumed children's characters, prizes, surprises, and a fireworks display. The parade route will be equipped with 10 sets of bleachers, a handicapped area, several water stations, and portable toilets.
To address the issue of security, health, and emergencies, the event organizers have set up a unified command post, staffed by 10 government institutions (National Police, Firefighters, Transit and Land Transport Authority, Air and Naval Authority, Red Cross, 911, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Health, National Civil Protection System, and Civil Aviation) and supported by 18 municipal magistrates, 2 Ministry of Health patient care centers, 20 first aid sites, 50 public health inspectors, fire brigades and firefighting equipment, and cranes for lifting vehicles.
The Panama City Hall anticipates awarding permission to 80 permanent stalls and 150 street vendors. Those interested in soliciting their permit should come with the required documentation to the Legal and Justice officelocated on the ground floor of the Hatillo building on the days of December 10, 11, and12 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Photos: Benicio González