Life is a dance… with a variety of rhythms to enjoy, from the “cumbia” to shake things up a little, to a smooth “bolero” to dance with your partner. That is exactly the attitude you will see among the attendees that enjoy a musical evening full of life…and memories…every Tuesday in Santiago park.
At 8 pm this traditional “barrio” (neighborhood), just a few blocks from downtown, starts receiving visitors, and the almost 200 chairs that are set up around the esplanade that functions as a dance floor, begin to fill up. Older people, grandmothers with their granddaughters, entire families, dance groups, foreigners, among others, are attracted to this joyful musical event. Even elders in wheelchairs gather around to enjoy the show and remember songs from the past.
At 8:30 pm sharp the master of ceremonies welcomes the Orquesta del Ayuntamiento (city hall orchestra), made up of more than 15 musicians, who at that precise moment begin the one and a half hours of music that delights the attendees. The cymbals crash and all the couples come to the dance floor… you will see dancing shoes stepping perfectly to the music, while scarves or combs save seats while their occupants are dancing.
With the rhythm of “danzón”, “cha cha cha”, “boleros” and “sones”, the orchestra delights the audience with the songs they love. It doesn´t matter which song it is: “Champotón”, “Total”, or “Policías y Ladrones”, every melody gets people dancing. The joy is contagious and you won’t be able to avoid moving your head and tapping your feet. Some of the songs are performed by guest singers like Tony Camargo.
To watch these scenes of healthy family gatherings, of dance and music, is like going on a magical walk through the past. Some couples have being dancing together in dance groups for years, others go to hear the songs they fell in love to, and others simply go to have a pleasant evening watching everyone enjoy themselves.
Raúl and Lupita have been going to these kinds of popular dance events for many years; they come to Santiago every Tuesday, and on Wednesdays they go to Parque de la Paz from 5 to 7 pm to practice their dance steps. Finally, the orchestra says good night, and another Tuesday fiesta is over. The attendees go home much happier than when they arrived; and, of course, much more tired!
Others take advantage of the setting and visit the Mercado de Santiago, where you can find a huge variety of traditional food; they relax and enjoy some “panuchos”, “salbutes”, “caldos” or the famous “tortas” of “La Itzalana” together with a fresh fruit drink at the tables around the stalls. Also, beside the church, you can try an ice cream from “Polito” or a delicious “marquesita”.
The park also has an area of park games for kids and a movie theater. It´s a gathering place popular with Meridanos because of the tranquility, availability of street parking, and the closeness to downtown. It doesn´t matter where you come from or the type of music you prefer; to experience a night of music and dance in Santiago is an experience that you can’t miss!
Musical Memories from the 1940s
Tuesdays 8:30 pm
Calle 59 x 72, Centro, Mérida
We invite you to watch a video about the Musical Encounter in Santiago
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