Circus Birthday Party and the Search for a Lion Piñata July 19 2012


Our daughter just celebrated her third birthday (sniff, sniff), and since we were going to be in Texas this month visiting family we decided to throw her a little family fiesta, with a big ole piñata, por supuesto. I always prefer general themes, versus character-centered birthday parties, because they're so much fun to put together. Last year we made her a pink cowgirl birthday party, haystacks and cowboy hats included. And this year I thought circus would be fun, since she loves Dumbo and Olivia.

I bought a lot of decorations online, but waited until I was in Laredo, Texas to go searching for the perfect piñata. I love piñatas, which is why I paid homage to them with our fun Piñata Party t-shirt. I figured I would find tons of stores, no, massive warehouses, bulging with every single kind of piñata possible. Well, if there are such warehouses, they sure aren't listed on Google or Yahoo! business pages, which made my search tough. I did find a few stores down la calle San Bernardo, which has always been known to have piñatas, but their selection was pitiful. And they were mostly of those not-quite-right Minnies and Hello Kitties, you know, with the slightly off faces. And a lot of Angry Bird piñatas. Must be what's hot, still, apparently. By the third store I stepped into they told me I'd probably have to custom order a piñata, especially if I wanted something related to a circus. Whaaaaat??? In Laredo? If you can't find a piñata in Laredo, where else can you find one? And I REFUSE to buy a Party City piñata. To me, they're just not the real thing.

Well, it was about ten minutes 'til 5 and I was totally deflated when my mom remembered she had seen a store a few blocks from where we were that had two little piñatas hanging outside. It was more of a talavera pottery and Mexican home goods store from the looks of it outside, but I was desperate and cranky from my search. I parked and rushed in and just asked the older man working the counter exactly what I was looking for, algo del circo. And his response: Sure, look in the back room here, it's filled with all kinds of piñatas. Aye Dios mio, and it was! It wasn't a warehouse but it was a huge room, and there were lions! Horses! Zebras! Tigers! And monkey piñatas! And all that on top of the usual Disney knock-offs and traditional star piñatas and so much more. I was beyond ecstatic. I wanted all of them. I liked the lion so I took it, for $20. Not bad.

So the party was a blast, especially the photo booth, where the kids and viejos put on their big smack-ready lips and bigotes. I served circus/carnival type food: frito pie, nachos, hot dogs, popcorn, shelled peanuts, lemonade and root beer. And I a little fun making the strongman's barbells with peppermint sticks and marshmallows, and of course, I had to buy animal crackers. K and her cousins played pin-the-tail-on-the-elephant and a few other games. And the poor piñata got a good banging. It probably would do some adults some good to get a piñata every few months and let loose. Stress reliever!