It took almost two decades of the patriotic deed for the first Independence day parades to take place in Panama City. These originated in the 1920s, where only government institutions participated. Later, public and private schools were incorporated. The route to be used was Casco Antiguo, that passed in front of the Presidency of the Republic in San Felipe.
Beginning of the Parades
On those dates the following was celebrated: November 2 was the Day of the Heroes, November 3 was Patriotism Day, and November 4 was the Day of the Flag. Among the parades that stood out the most was that of the Fire Department who paraded dressed in their best clothes and carrying their torches. The students with the best grades and behavior from both public and private schools, who adorned their uniforms with national tricolor ribbons as a sign of being “Honor Roll Students”. These children and teens usually always wanted to participate in the parades, either playing an instrument or carrying a national emblem. It should be noted that at the beginning on November 2, a procession was carried out towards the monument of one or several heroes of the nation.
First the schools paraded, then the National Police and then the Firefighters would come out. Over the decades, the number of schools and independent bands grew, so the parade often lasted until dawn.
One of the most representative and distinctives were the female battalions from public and private schools in their beginnings. Many of these groups were distinguished by the elegance of their members, the skill of many of them in playing the instruments, and the accuracy of the “batuteras” ( girls with baton) was enhanced, who marched at good rhythm and exclusive steps related to the school they represented.
Evolution through the Years
On November 2, it ceased to be Heroes Day to commemorate the Day of the Dead. November 5 was also added as the Day that the Separation of Colombia was Consolidated with parades in Colon City.
In the late 1980s and 1990s, the participation of independent bands increased. And since 1994, the indigenous people from Guna Yala region began to participate with their traditional dances.
For many decades in Capital City, a single route was use for all public and private educational centers in the sector, some guest schools from the interior, independent bands, the Police, as well as the Fire Department. Some ministries participating in the organization were also added. In addition to having the assistance of a very large crowded, it was gaining more followers through live television broadcasts. Due to the increase in participating groups, the creation of two routes was implemented to divide the groups to parade at the same time; each group would switch routes to march the next day.
Parades in Present Day
After the patriotic parades were suspended for the first time in 2020 due to the health crisis, and held in a smaller way in 2021; it will be celebrated again with parades live in 2022.
This year the patriotic parades in the capital city will travel along two routes: Calle 50 and the Cinta Costera, as they had been before the pandemic. The independent bands will parade on November 3 and 4 starting at 2:30 pm from the Carreteros building located on Avenida Balboa, to the administrative office of the Ministry of Public Works on Calle 40 Bella Vista.