Last updateFri, 16 Aug 2019 11am

Puerto Vallarta’s crocodile hit squad

Town hall meeting

The Federal Benefits Unit (Social Security Administration) at the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara will be holding a town hall meeting for the Riviera Nayarit (Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta and Bahia de Banderas) community on Wednesday, November 28. An informational town meeting is scheduled from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m., and consultations from 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will take place at the O’Rourke Investments & Insurance Auditorium, Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio 3975, Local A51C.

Regional Federal Benefits Officer Rick Meyer and Field Representative from the Federal Benefits Unit (Social Security Administration) Jose Chavez will be on hand to receive applications for Social Security benefits and provide general SSA information.

All Federal Benefits Unit  services are free of charge.

Gourmet Festival

Puerto Vallarta’s annual International Gourmet Festival runs from Friday, November 23, through Sunday, December 2.

The event was started in 1995 by local chefs Thierry Blouet and Heinz Reize with the idea of promoting and elevating culinary standards in the region to  competitive international levels, while introducing new methods and highlighting the creativity of highly qualified chefs.

Although the festival has grown in size with the addition of more events, such as cooking workshops and wine tastings, the original format remains unchanged: Each participating restaurant invites a celebrity from the culinary scene.

The 1995 festival featured six hotels and six independent restaurants. In 2018, 27 establishments will be participating.

pg29The festival opens on November 23, 8 p.m., with the Gran Gourmet Village at the Hotel Hilton Puerto Vallarta, when guests can mingle with the invited chefs and enjoy a fabulous buffet, free bar and musical entertainment.  Cost: 1,350 pesos.

Among 19 scheduled events is the Vintage Wine Fair, Saturday, December 1, 2 p.m., at the River Cafe Restaurant on the Isla Rio Cuale. Cost: 380 pesos.

For the full listing of events and further information on the festival, as well as the participating restaurants, see festivalgourmet.com. Call (322) 222-2247 for more details.

The festival’s closing event is the Polo Grill Feast at the Polo Lounge de La Patrona Polo & Equestrian Club on Sunday, December 2. The feast is hosted by chefs Hugo Ahumada and Diego Hernández and runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy delicious cuisine while watching the equestrians go through their paces. Cost 1,700 pesos.

Festival Caravana

On Sunday, November 18, the Instituto Vallartense de Cultura launched a new weekly cultural festival at the city’s famous arches on the Malecon.

The “Caravan Festival” features music, dance, theater and circus shows each Sunday through December 9.

November 25 sees performances by the Salty Paw Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Ricardo Daniel Oliveros Zambrano, and circus arts group Les Cabaret Capricho.

“Trapotitlán,” a theater and contemporary dance outfit,  presents a show on December 2, along with a performance by “Imaginarios,” a theater and clown group.

The final date of the festival, December 9, features sets by Mariachi Nuevo Continental and La Boquita, a  flamenco, tango and Latin American music band.  The  Canela Fina flamenco dance company also performs.

The shows are free of charge and commence at 7 p.m.

Art afoot

If you want to learn a great deal about the local public sculptures, go on one of the free Malecón Sculpture Walking Tours created and conducted by Galería Pacifico owner Gary Thompson.

He is now in his 13th season and the tours will run through the middle of April 2019.

Morning tours begin every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Millennium sculpture, next to the Hotel Rosita at the north end of the Malecón. Sculptor Fernando Baños starts the tour off by explaining the history, making and details of this towering figure. Thompson then leads the tour along the Malecón, explaining the artist and history behind some 15 artworks. He also points out details that you might have otherwise missed, giving you a deeper understanding of each sculpture’s significance. Thompson’s personal experiences and interactions with the sculptors, as well as his numerous personal friendships with many of Vallarta’s other artists, make the walk both entertaining and educational. The tour lasts about two hours,

Evening tours take place Tuesdays, starting 6 p.m., at Galeria Pacifico (Aldama 174). This 90-minute tour heads along the Malecón to sculptor Jim Demetro’s gallery, where he discusses his various works, and offers wine and botanas.

Both tours support the Biblioteca Los Mangos (Vallarta’s public library). More information is available by calling Galería Pacifico at (322) 222-1982 or contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Film screenings

Democrats Abroad Puerto Vallarta continues with its 10th season of weekly film screenings each Wednesday, 6 p.m. at Nacho Daddy.

Next month’s schedule features “The Glass Castle” (United States, 2017) on December 5; “After the Storm” (Japan, 2016) on December 12; and “Step” (United States, 2017) on December 19.

In “The Glass Castle,” a young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a eccentric artist mother and an alcoholic father who stirs the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.  With Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts and Brie Larson.

In “After the Storm,” a private detective struggles to find child support money and reconnect with his son and former wife.

In the documentary “Step,” Amanda Lipitz documents the senior year of a girls’ high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore.

A donation of 100 pesos is requested for all Democrats Abroad film screenings, which continue through March 2019.  Nacho Daddy Restaurant is at Basilio Badillo 287.


SETAC’s second annual Red Ribbon Gala fundraiser event will be held at the Mantamar Beach Club on Playa Los Muertos Wednesday, December 5, 6 to 10 p.m. With the much larger venue, accommodating up to 250 people, guests will be able to enjoy the sunset right on the beach, organizers say.

Founded in 2009, SETAC promotes respect for human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Vallarta. Their aim is to promote timely treatment of the HIV virus, strengthen the dignified treatment and avoidance of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS.

Gavin Creel, a Tony award winning singer/actor, and Seth Rudetsky, an Emmy-nominated comedy writer and current afternoon deejay on the SiriusXM Broadway channel, will entertain the crowd.

A long list of local chefs has already agreed to participate this year, in an innovative and collaborative format. Eleven top chefs have paired up to plan a number of stunning gourmet items for a four-course, sit-down gala banquet served to guests. They include Thierry Blouet of Café des Artistes, Memo Wulff of Barrio Bistro, Everardo Robles Soltero of Le Kliff and Joel Ornelas of Tintoque, among others.

pg30General admission tickets with open seating are 2,000 pesos; entire tables with reserved seating are 20,000 pesos; and VIP tables (10 seats) with best proximity to the stage are available for 25,000 pesos.

Among programs supported by SETAC are the distribution of HIV prevention items, such as condoms and lubricants, as well as brochures, along with counseling and workshops.

Information: setac.com.mx.

Garden Club

The Vallarta Garden Club is hosting two events at the beginning of December: The annual holiday luncheon on Wednesday, December 5, and a reception for new members on December 11.

The luncheon will be held at the beautiful Vallarta Botanical Gardens, while the reception is scheduled for the Molino de Agua on Calle Emiliano Zapata.

Over the past few years, the Vallarta Garden Club has donated and planted thousands of new plants along the busiest streets in the city center and Emiliano Zapata neighborhoods. For the 100-year anniversary of Puerto Vallarta, they completely re-landscaped the main plaza of Vallarta, located directly in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe church. All the projects are funded by private donations, and plantings are done by experienced volunteers.

When you stroll along Basilio Badillo, Olas Altas, Insurgentes or  Avenida Mexico and many other streets in the area, you will see many bougainvilleas and hundreds of donor-supported planter boxes. 

For more information on how to join the club or the different levels of being a donor, see vallartagardenclub.com or vallartagardenclub on Facebook.

The Garden Club’s annual fundraiser dinner gala will be held at Restaurant Oscar’s on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. The cost is 2,000 pesos. Tickets are already available.

The Palm Cabaret

Celebrated Canadian singer Kim Kuzma has started her 14th season performing in Puerto Vallarta with regular shows at The Palm Cabaret. Join her every Tuesday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. as she interprets the music of Abba and Cher, among others.  She opens November 27.

Another Palm Cabaret regular this season will be Miss Conception, who takes to the stage Mondays, 7 and 9:30 p.m.; and Thursdays, 9:30 p.m.  This year, the international “female delusionist” will launch her new show, “Where in the World is Miss Conception,” featuring live singing with costume changes from around the world. Performing for 18 years, Miss Conception (aka Kevin Levesque) has been the opening act for Leslie Jordan (Will and Grace) and Lorna Loft (daughter of Judy Garland), and has shared the stage with Tony award winner Jennifer Holliday from Dreamgirls.

Other regular performers at The Palm Cabaret this season include popular local Latin band Piel Canela, each Sunday, 7 p.m.

Also coming up: Liza Lott’s joyful and highly praised show, “Minelli — The Legend,” December 5, 7, 8, 12 and 13, 7:30 p.m., and December 9 and 12, 9:30 p.m.

Entertainer, singer and voice impressionist Jimmy James makes rare Vallarta appearances at The Palm Cabaret November 28, December 5 and 8, 7:30 p.m., and November 29, December 1 and 6, 9:30 p.m.

Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston  tribute artist Denita Asberry performs four shows only, December 14, 7 p.m.; December 15, 7 and 9:30 p.m. and December 16, 9:30 p.m.

The Palm Cabaret is located at Olas Altas 508. Information: (322) 222-0200 or see thepalmcabaret.com.