Tijuana’s Festivales

Latin Jazz and Blues: We drink beers and other drinks with friends, the fun spilling over onto the streets. Tables are filled with happiness. Take a break and walk around, we do, going back to the festival after dinner. The percussion and rhythms, the horns, the keys, the night air, the positive vibrations, and friendship have us smiling inside. Then the cow jaw bone comes out and I am thrown back to Garifuna land, landing happily in a joyful hip groove I haven’t felt in a while. My bride meets me half way in the groove. Pure soulification. And then, yes, then again, they finish by slapping hands on drums that take us to West Africa, possibly Nigeria.

Rock n’ Taco: Imagine, if you can, eating a fresh octopus and pesto taco on the street, knowing you have a calamari ceviche in its own ink tostada sitting on the plate as your second helping. Beers and friends and local musicians play their art in hard rock form, and we follow it all with another beer. Grinding guitars and a mad drummer set us on our way to the local craft beer fest.

Craft Beer Festival: Yep, it’s true. Really good beer is brewed in Baja, and we went on a walk to drink it. Straw was spread out on the ground under the mega tent to keep the dust down, and on the perimeter were beer booths. Agua Mala Astillero. Insurgente Lupulosa. A high school band parades through, well, at the least a drum corps and a few horns do. The revelry makes me high.

Rumble Fest: A cab ride and a walk up a dark side street, gets us to the entrance. We pay 50 pesos and proceed up into the light. An abandoned factory buildings site is the venue. Two stages of bi-national punk and a few tents of cheap canned beer sit in the canyon, surrounded by darkness. A stroll up on the hill to view the moshing with others is an ideal end to the night. Peace abides, as the loudness strikes like lightning.

We catch a colectivo back into town. La Sexta is bumping. We grub on corner tacos adobadas. A few blocks later, we share 3 more for 20 pesos.

Tijuana is alive, and you should leave your fears behind and discover it.

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