More than 30 of the best charro teams in Mexico and the United States will gather from February 1 to 5 at Arena Vallarta, El Higuera 630, Colonia El Colorado, just northeast of downtown Puerto Vallarta to compete in the 6th International Grand Prize Charro Championship.
The centuries-old tradition of charrería brings together working skills, training, discipline, horsemanship and the symbolic reenactment of Mexican values and customs. Like its rodeo cousin in the United States, charrería turns cattle farming skills into competitive stunts. Contending teams show off techniques of jumping through the air onto wild mares, riding bucking broncos and bringing down rampaging bulls with lassos. This year also marks the return of skirmishes with ten teams competing.
In addition to the exciting rodeo action, festivities include the traditional Verbena de Tradiciones Mexicanas (Traditional Mexican Street Party) at Los Arcos on the malecón in downtown Puerto Vallarta. This includes free live music, dance performances, rope flourishing demonstrations and other activities.
The schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, February 1
8:30 p.m. - Verbena de Tradiciones Mexicanas at Los Arcos de Malecón, downtown Puerto Vallarta
Tuesday, February 2
3 p.m. - Inauguration Ceremony at Arena Vallarta; 3:30 p.m. - First Charreada; 7 p.m. - Second Charreada
Friday, February 3
11 a.m. - Third Charreada; 4 p.m. - Fourth Charreada; 6:30 p.m. - Fifth Charreada; 11 p.m. - The Traditional Maleconeada parade starts at Bar Zoo and follows the Malecón to Los Arcos Amphitheater in downtown Puerto Vallarta
Saturday, February 4
11 a.m. - Sixth Charreada; 3 p.m. - Seventh Charreada; 6:30 p.m. - Eight Charreada; 10:30 p.m. - Stellar Presentation (Concert) by Beto Peña
Sunday, February 5
1 p.m. - Mariachi Internacional Real de América Concert & First Grand Finale: 4th, 5th & 6th place teams; 4:30 p.m. - Second Grand Finale: 1st, 2nd & 3rd place teams; 8 p.m. - Awards, Raffle and Closing Ceremony
Tickets are on sale now at the Mas Boletos office, located at Montes Urales 101 in Puerto Vallarta’s Colonia Vista Hermosa or online at ArenaVallarta.com.
Entrance fees are only 80 pesos per day and on Saturday and Sunday the ticket price includes musical performances. As a thank you to attendees, your ticket to Sunday’s double final automatically enters you into a raffle for a late model car to be given away during the awards ceremony.
Arena Vallarta is a modern facility, which is disabled accessible, has seating for 8,000 spectators, a 600-car parking lot and a commercial area
A new series of interactive lectures can help you integrate into Mexican life easier. Connect with Mexico takes place on Tuesdays at Art VallARTa, Pilitas 213 on the south side of Vallarta. These conversations are a fun way to learn about Mexican art, culture and the stories behind the behaviors, mannerisms and sayings of the Mexican people.
The classes are hosted by Carlos Navarro on Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Here are the topics for the next two sessions:
Mexican Muralism - Tuesday, January 24. There is no better way to tell Mexico’s story than with beautiful paintings on its many public buildings. Find out who commissions these huge works of art, why they’re so relevant to the country and why even the Rockefellers were in love with them.
La Chingada y El Chingón - Tuesday, January 31. The verb chingar defines what it is to be Mexican. Come get some answers about this funny word you hear from Mexicans of all social classes. Where did it come from? How is it used? What should you feel if the dreaded word reaches your ears?
Recently Navarro has served as a political analyst and policy advisor to the Chief of Staff of Mexico’s president. He spoke to foreign diplomats stationed in Mexico City, mostly from the United States, Canada and the European Union. Navarro has also worked at TV Azteca and Televisa as a political analyst.
There’s no doubt everyone can learn something, enjoy each other’s company and together gain new insights on how to enjoy Mexico even more. The cost is US$20 or 350 pesos per person per session and includes all materials for the conversations and some refreshments.
Space is limited so reservations are recommended.
Pub Quiz Challenge
The final Charity Pub Quiz Challenge is set for Wednesday, February 1, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Nacho Daddy’s on Basilio Badillo in Old Town.
Teams of two to six players compete for thousands of pesos in donated prizes, while contributing to the construction of a new children’s playground in Vista Hermosa.
The registration fee of 300 pesos per player includes one welcome drink (well drink, local beer or house wine). All proceeds go toward building the new playground.