I thread through the crowd, most of which come up to my waist. The waiting masses for the parade sprawl over four blocks, maintaining a fragile patience as they await their turn to march twenty feet with varying degrees of success in-front of the assembled authories of the municipality. There are two clear themes to the Peruvian Independence Day parade; small cute children and menacing, serious military. The small cute children, through which I wade, are kept from rebellion by ample supplies of sugared snacks and the looming proximity of parents. The variety of armed forces, polished and creased, looked equally disposed to mischief. The only difference is the absence of their parents, a superior rank the disciplinary force instead.
Almost an hour behind schedule due to the rambling speeches spun from the gallery of military, political and religious officials, the parade queue lurch into action and began rolling past the spectators. The choas funnel into six neat columns like toothpaste exiting a tube before exploding again into scattered hoplessness some thirty feet down the road. No-one attempts to administrate the aftermath, but it seemed to be unneccesary. After milling around like awkward guests at a wedding reception for a few minutes, the participants drift off adorned in their various costumes, ranging from khaki with large semi-automatic accessories to full-body chicken.