The Ometepe Tourist Fair


Last weekend, Moyogalpa held a tourist fair showcasing activities, traditional dances, bands, products, hostels, and hotels for tourists visiting Ometepe Island. When I think of the county fairs I have attended in the states, I recall wisps of roasted peanuts and pulled pork filtered through barnyard smells of heifers and freshly sheared sheep. I recall the faint chill of sweater weather and goose bumps as I’m stalled on the ferris wheel high above the fair grounds almost touching the twinkling stars. I taste sawdust, hear the shrill calls of the game masters daring one and all to test their strength and tossing skills, and watch the faces of children as they bounce and fly through the air with eyes as big as pumpkins.

The Ometepe tourist fair was unlike any fair I had attended in the states. The smells of sweat and gallo pinto mingled among the fair goers and participants. Hair gel plastered sweat drenched hair, taming it like a wild horse. Tourist booths, decked in tropical fruits and garnished with baskets of vegetables, homemade wine, and miniature garden displays, enticed fair goers. Children waited eagerly for the plastic dog house to inflate…the only ride in the fair. Music boomed from gigantic speakers. Recycled plastic water bottles morphed into flowers, turtles, and garbage cans. Displays of solar panels, water purifiers, and crafts abounded. Professional brochures of hostels and hotels fanned heated guests.

Enjoy my slideshow of the Ometepe Tourist Fair! It is definitely a keeper!

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5 thoughts on “The Ometepe Tourist Fair

  1. Any kind of fair or amusement park here in Nicaragua is called “play lamp park”.. I used to love making the line and buying the chips at the ticket booth that came in different colors like neon green, blue, white, red, til this day those colors are alive in my mind, even though it was small most play lamp parks were equpied with a mary go round, Carritos chocones(bumper cars) and many other rides that I don’t know their names The smell of pop corn, cotton candy, red candied apples(vendor lady with tray on top of head), hot dogs and of course FRITANGA . LOL 🙂 bring back dear memories….

    P.S. I remember when my Grandma lived in San Juan Del Sur her house which was also her business(La Cabañita– it is now called Gato Negro Cafe) was in front of an empty lot so about once a year a play lamp park camped out for a month usually around the holidays I used to sneak in and grab on to the pole of the mary go round but the care taker told my Grandma needles to say I got in trouble lmao…. some memories are a true treasure 🙂

  2. Your imagery of fairs is so universal.Wherever the fair is it’s all about the five senses.Love the gel plastered hair. Our grandsons ( 8 & 10) are going to the state fair in Raleigh, NC this morning and have been excited for days. Thanks for bringing back memories and for sharing Ometepe’s Fair.

    • Thanks, Lynne. I had to laugh about the gel in the hair. When we brought a young friend to the states for a visit, his suitcase was full of hair gel! Can’t go without that hair gel! lol I hope your grandsons have a wonderful time at the state fair. I know it will be exciting for them.

  3. Great post, your words brought my memories back of past fairs and carnivals … and the smells of kettle corn and fried dough..I do love the fairs and festivals here in Ecuador, the anticapation of what I may see for the first time… thanks for sharing. Mary

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