November 3 is Panama Independence Day. I question how many Panamanians realize it, but the country became independent from Colombia because it suited the United States for it to do so. Something to do with the Panama Canal. It just wasn’t going to happen as long as the isthmus was a part of Colombia. This is worthy of a post in itself. Maybe later.
Panamanians love parades. The main street in town was shut down for several hours on two consecutive days. In case you missed it on the first day, you could just as well catch the parade the next day. Although I doubt that’s the motivating reason
Most of the parading groups consisted of only drums. Not sure why that is. But we can hear muted drums almost all night any time of year. Beyond any doubt, the Panamanians love the sound of drums.
One marching group, however, is a fully-fledged band. I’m pretty sure it belongs to the school the next block over. Anyhow, I was delighted to hear them play John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”. Could it have anything to do with the country’s provenance? Probably not. My WAG is that the band teacher is an American.