Ajijic’s Carnaval celebrations kick off this weekend with the first of the local rodeos to be held on three consecutive Sundays, February 2, 9 and 16, 4:30 p.m., at the Lienzo Charro arena, Calle Revolución a block south of the highway.
The high-testosterone confrontations between man and beast, called jaripeos, feature fearless cowpokes testing their mettle at riding bucking bulls, and charro horsemen showing off rounding and roping skills. The action in the ring is ginned up with high-decibel banda music to get spectators dancing in the stands. The build-up for each jaripeo starts with the Toro de Once parade led by Sayaco and Sayaca masked dancers, who will take to the streets around 10:30 a.m. to chase down bands of kids taunting them along the way, while pelting everyone in sight with fistfuls of flour and confetti.
The rowdy cavalcade makes a loop around town, ending at the bullring for an short interlude of hilarious hell-raising. Afterwards revelers wend their way to the Malecón for the recibimiento, a courtesy reception for ranchers who provide the day’s livestock. Crowds of ordinary folks turn up to get in on the live dance music and free-flowing booze.