The excitement is palpable as the crowd waits for Morelia’s “sound and light show” at the Cathedral.
The baroque Morelia Cathedral – made from pink stone and sprouting twin pink spires that soar 200 feet into the sky – is stunning enough on its own.
And at night, when it’s illuminated, it’s exquisite.
But Saturday nights are particularly special in this colonial Mexican town in the state of Michoacán. That’s when this famous free show is held in front of the Cathedral.
Morelia Cathedral show
We’re seated at our hotel’s restaurant on the outdoor colonnaded walkway, right in front of the Cathedral.
A bright TV-like display of images has been projected onto the Cathedral side for at least 30 minutes now. The street in front has been closed to traffic, and both the street and plaza are packed with people.
Vendors sell colorful balloons, and singing musicians wander by and play for handouts.
Everyone in town, it seems, is here – families with small children licking ice-creams, kissing couples, groups of laughing young people, students – all awaiting the show.
We had thought the show might involve a depiction of Mexican or Morelian history, with dialogue and images, something like the sound and light shows we enjoyed at the Pyramids and Karnak Temple in Egypt.
But when it starts, it turns out to be an extraordinary spectacle of fireworks, accompanied by loud stirring music. Some fireworks shoot straight up in front of the Cathedral. Some whoosh out from pipes installed on the outside of the Cathedral walls and burst into dazzling stars high above our heads.
But all too soon, after probably only about 5 minutes, it’s over.
And we return to our pizza and wine, wishing we could see a repeat performance, as the crowd slowly dissipates.