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Photos: Oaxacan celebration of Saint James

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Participants of the St. James celebration process down Main Street on Saturday morning. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

A throng of Coastside residents filled the streets of downtown Half Moon Bay with colorful, vibrant dresses, flowers, flags and energetic music to celebrate the Oaxacan community's honoring of Saint James on Saturday morning.

The event began with a morning mass at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church before weaving through downtown streets, drawing the attention of dozens of locals and tourists visiting town for summer weekend. Saint James is the patron saint of the village of Santiago Apóstol in Oaxaca, Mexico and is a significant figure for the community. A brass band kept the energy going as participants performed traditional Oaxacan dances down Main Street before returning to the church for food and festivities. 

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The celebrations begin with a morning mass at the Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church before beginning the procession around downtown Half Moon Bay. Kyle Ludowitz /  Review
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Beginning the parade outside Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church. Kyle Ludowitz / Review
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Participants of the festivities get to enjoy the traditional treats such as Oaxacan chocolate, atole, and in this case, tequila and mezcal. Kyle Ludowitz / Review
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Girls and young women get in place to perform a traditional dance through downtown Half Moon Bay. Kyle Ludowitz / Review
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Dancers in elaborate demonic masks and costumes perform synchronized dances with whips and objects at the rear of the procession through town. Kyle Ludowitz / Review
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After weaving through town in a festive procession, participants in the Oaxacan celebration of Saint James return to Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in Kelly Avenue. Kyle Ludowitz / Review
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Ester Luis Maya, left, and Andrea Perez-Maya wait outside the Our Pillar of the Lady Catholic Church before the procession through town. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

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