Despite the unseasonal downpour, the heat was certainly on last Saturday as Fitzroy played host to the 2009 Hispanic Fiesta.
Officially established in 1978, the Hispanic Fiesta celebrates all things Hispanic and Latin-American. From music to dance, drinks to food, these guys sure know how to celebrate, usually to excess.
One thing that is always available at any Hispanic Fiesta is meat. Lots of it. Standing at the entrance to the festival, on the corner of Johnston and Brunswick Streets, smoke can be seen billowing from almost every tent. Convinced that the smoke was more a signal than merely the necessary output of a well-stoked barbeque, I headed to the nearest stall. One choripan with onion and chimichurri later I was content but by no means full.
Up until this point it had been fairly prosaic; chorizo, taco, tamales and the occasional paella. Then I saw it. It was remarkable, like nothing I nor my Argentinian counterpart had seen before. The Colombian lechona! Pork stuffed with yellow peas, rice and a handful of spices, baked whole for what I’m sure must be many, many delicious hours. It was moist, flavoursome and overall spectacular.
With food in the belly it was time for a beverage. Enter the Burlesque Bar and $5 Pacificos. I was quickly starting to think this was the best fiesta yet. Several (my estimates are somewhat conservative) beers later, it was time to remove myself from the Burlesque Bar’s den of iniquity and venture out into the festival once more.
A tour of the stage and a quick dance lesson later, mother nature decided to throw a party of her own and dump more water in a few hours than we have seen in months. What was a welcome sight for the states water storage, was not so welcomed by the stall holders, desperately trying to keep the water out of the many barbeques and electrical appliances. Still, everyone seemed to be enjoying the lighter side of mother nature’s display. With what seemed like an opportune time to get indoors and partake in some more product sampling, it was time to say goodbye to the Hispanic Fiesta for another year and head off to the Cape.
Until next year, adiós!