São Leopoldo had a birthday on July 25th and the party lasted 10 days...It's always a time for remembering the German immigrants, for dancing the polka, eating apple strudel, sausages, chocolate tortes, for displaying the German flag, it's red, yellow and black colors dominating the atmosphere. The gaucho culture somehow gets mixed in with the Germans and even the little tots show they can learn the folk dances. Pat and I do our duty every year...we eat our way through the food stands (the chocolate mousse was heavenly!), admire the dancers, wander through myriads of vendors selling everything from massage recliners to Bolivian ponchos and stop to listen to some of the bands. For Pat it was free admission--the first time it payed off being the big 6-0, but he was upset that no one asked to see his ID when he went through the gates.