Laughter filled the air as boys hammed it up for the neighborhood girls and mothers tried to keep their five-year-olds from causing havoc with lit candles, during La Posada in San Clemente's Calle Canasta neighborhood Friday night.
Several dozen members of the community in the largely Hispanic enclave off Camino de los Mares have, during the last several years, recreated the traditional Mexican Christmas procession. The celebration calls for children and neighbors to recreate part of the Christmas story -- the part in which Mary and Joseph seek shelter in Bethlehem and are turned away by all the inns leading up to the birth of the Christ child.
Marcela Perez and other neighborhood matriarchs have organized San Clemente's Posada for the last five years. Since then, Perez said the celebration has only grown in scale with staffers from the city and local organizations joining in the fun.
The gaggle of children and adults singing Posada songs stop at houses along the street where they are symbolically denied shelter, the Spanish word for which is "posada," until they reach the end of the street where piñatas and potluck is set up.