Sunday, November 3, 2013

"Love and Peace" comes to Loreto Bay

Last week I wrote about a small impromptu get together on the Beach to celebrate a full moon rise, this week I will focus on a party at the other end of the spectrum – a party for hundreds of people with a catered meal, many costumes and two live bands providing the entertainment! 

The event was Agua Viva Management’s “Love & Peace” party, held to help launch the new Season and celebrate the fourth anniversary of the opening of their Property Management Company.  Dia, the Owner of the business, was employed by the original Developer of Loreto Bay doing liaison work with Homeowners, before launching her Property Management company located in Agua Viva, the second phase of Loreto Bay.

A lot of effort goes into preparing for a party of this size and no doubt Dia and some of her staff had been working on the plans for some time, but the first evidence of the set-up for the party began the afternoon before, when a section of the main street in front of their offices was blocked off and dozens of tables and hundreds of chairs were set up in front of a temporary stage.  Near the entrance on the north side of the party area there was a bar for mixed drinks and a beer tent, with food stations for the buffet arranged along one side of the cordoned off area, facing the stage.  In addition to the set up for the party, there were several booths outside the entrance for local vendors, and a big display Trailer for Baja Screens parked on the street at the far end of the party enclosure.      

Costumes had been encouraged for this event, and so I had put together an outfit that was vaguely reminiscent of my “hippie” period, many years ago!  But as I was donning beads and a headscarf I was wondering how many others attending would “dress” for the occasion – however, since my hair is longer now than it ever was in the 70’s, I was not going to miss taking advantage of a theme opportunity like this.  But as it turned out, I needn’t have been concerned – and perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, that the “Peace & Love” theme proved to be very resonant among the mainly Boomer demographic that is Loreto Bay!

So after being greeted by Dia and the team of Agua Viva employees at the entrance (all of whom were suitably costumed) I made my way into the party enclosure and saw that in fact most of the people at the party had made the effort to dress, or at least accessorize, for the occasion.  A local Mexican band was playing rock music in front of the stage and the crowd continued to increase steadily over the next hour or so, as more and more people arrived.  Soon, the buffet line began to form, starting at the food stations and extending the length of the party area before wrapping back on itself again, while about half of the crowd sat at tables or mingled and visited while they waited for the line to shorten.

                   There were beef, chicken and fish skewers grilling over hot coals and potatoes, pasta and veggies to go along with the entrees, Will and Cynthia had a table selling wines from their Wine Bar @ Nopolo by the glass or bottle, and Paulette from Ette’s Pies had a table of her delicious deserts for sale as well.  Progress in the line was slow, because Carlos, who has opened Agave, a new restaurant in Agua Viva, was the solo Grill Chef, but no one seemed to mind as they chatted together and listened to the music.      

After the opening band had completed their set, the members of Los Beach Dogs took over the stage and soon the “headline” act started to play their first gig of the new Season.  I have been following the “Dogs” since their earliest performances and so it may be difficult for me to be objective, but these guys have become a very professional group and give a polished performance.  Needless to say, here in Loreto Bay they are the local favorites and the crowd responded by filling the dance floor (or perhaps I should say, they were “dancing in the streets!”)

Later on in the evening, between sets, Dia and her Agua Viva Management staff took to the stage and Dia thanked the assembled crowd for attending and acknowledged the people who had contributed to making the event the success it was.  She talked about the past four years of her company’s history and introduced her staff.  Her presentation concluded with the announcement of her employee of the year, a mother with five children, who was very excited to receive the generous cash award.

And so the music and dancing went on into the night and the first big party of another Season was a great success – the first of what I know will be many celebrations to come, both large and small, organized, and spur of the moment.  While it’s my privilege (and self imposed responsibility) to report on these goings on here in Loreto Bay, it is satisfying to see the positive momentum and community spirit carry over from the end of one season into the beginning of the next with even rising enthusiasm.

It is also significant that while the majority of people at this party were from Loreto Bay, a good percentage were from town – both ex-pat and Mexican.  I think this is important for at least two reasons; greater integration of our growing community with the town’s people is a good thing that leads to better understanding, and, I know from talking to some of the “townies”, it had been a while since some of them had last visited Loreto Bay and they told me how very impressed they were with the improved appearance of the Development, due to all the new landscaping since their last visit.

Connecting with an earlier time that many of us shared when we were younger and idealistic, when “Love & Peace” meant more than just the words – bridging from that time to today, and finding a new meaning for those words, as it applies to the homes and community we are building here in the Baja, this is another new meaning to “Living Loreto”.