Virgin of Guadalupe
Every year, during the first 12 days of December, the streets of Puerto Vallarta fill with Catholic devotees, making their way through the city in traditional peregrinaciones (pilgrimages), honoring Mexico’s beloved Virgin of Guadalupe.
These colorful celebrations happen nightly, ending with a raucous street fiesta on December 12, called The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This nationwide festival commemorates the miraculous appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the indigenous peasant Juan Diego on December 12, 1531.
The Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe is one of Puerto Vallarta’s most beloved and popular community celebrations. Baptisms, confirmations, first holy communions, and weddings take place within the local community, planned to coincide with this special date. It’s a fantastic time to visit Puerto Vallarta and feel the sense of faith and culture that has defined the city since its founding on December 12, 1851, by Don Guadalupe Sánchez Torres. During this annual celebration, hundreds of local businesses, unions, neighborhood groups and organizations participate in evening processions to Puerto Vallarta’s Our Lady of Guadalupe church. The candlelight parades start in front of Woolworth’s and make their way down Calle Juarez to the church. Indigenous and Christian rituals mix as young warriors dance in the streets commemorating the miraculous apparition, while others carry banners or ride on colorful floats portraying the Virgin Mary and Juan Diego. Fireworks light up the sky, folk dance groups perform, traditional exhibitions entertain, while people sing songs and hymns honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe and the central plaza packs with street vendors selling fruits, food, and souvenirs.
Mixtli, a social venture spice company in Puerto Vallarta, will host their second annual Christmas Party FUNdraiser on Friday, December 6, from 7-11 p.m. at their Nuevo Vallarta store, located at Prolongación Amado Nervo 54. For a suggested donation of 99 pesos (or a new wrapped toy) at the door, this family-friendly event is open to the public. It includes food, drink, live music, and a fabulous silent auction for charity, featuring gift certificates from Bonito Kitchen, The Green Place, No Way José!, and Organi-k; art from Tierra Huichol; tours to San Sebastian and the beaches of Sayulita and San Pancho by Puerto Vallarta Discovery Tours; plus local honey baskets from Imperial Bee, Oaxacan salsas from Salsas Pajarillas, and more. Mixtli aims to raise at least 25,000 pesos to buy gifts and deliver food, drinks, and fun activities this Christmas for the 25 kids living at the Casa Hogar Maximo Cornejo Orphanage in Puerto Vallarta; and the 15 kids residing at Albergue Vida Nueva in Pitillal (Volunteers are welcome.)
Presented by Build Ramps Not Walls, Puerto Vallarta will soon host the First National DIY Skateboard Festival, from December 6 to 8, in the recently renovated skatepark of the Agustín Flores Contreras Sports Complex.
This fun family event will be officially attended by more than 150 skaters from Mexico City, Jalisco, Nayarit, Aguascalientes, Yucatán and Sonora. It will feature competitions in open skate, female skaters and children, to be judged by professional skaters evaluating style, difficulty and speed presented in three-minute runs.
Build Ramps Not Walls is a project led by the Mexican and U.S. skate community in the Bahía de Banderas, which emerged as a creative proposal to build skateboard ramps with the same materials that would forge the alleged wall between Mexico and the United States.
With a DIY philosophy (Do It Yourself), this group of skaters built their first ramp park, The Shore Skatepark, located in Punta de Mita. After that success, and with the motivation to integrate the growing skate community in the bay, Build Ramps Not Walls recently completed a remodel and expansion project of the skate park located in the sports complex of Puerto Vallarta City Hall. This new facility will serve as host to this year’s First National DIY Skateboard Festival. Admission to the event is free, and all activities start at 11 a.m. on December 6. Everyone is welcome to participate and admire the national skateboarding talent Mexico has to offer.
Bahia World Music Festival
This unique festival will take place at Oscar’s Tequila Distillery, located where the River Cuale meets the Bay, Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, September 8, 5-11:30 p.m.
Local music enthusiasts have put together a marvelous lineup of musicians from all over the country to thrill you with their fabulous music. Representing the cutting edge of traditionally based music from France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Cuba, the Mediterranean shores and Latin America, these talented groups have thrilled audiences wherever they’ve played. The festival is spread over two days, allowing you time to enjoy the beach and other activities in Puerto Vallarta, while dedicating your afternoons and evenings to incredible music, food, and spirits.
Beginning at 5 p.m. each day with a competition among talented local youths, leading into performances by four amazing and unique bands per night.
Reserve your tickets now, as this will be a spectacular and well-attended event. Check the website for tickets and updates to the festival lineup: worldmusicfestival.mx.
A postcard setting in Amapas, gourmet food, live entertainment and quality time spent with friends is what makes this annual FUNdraiser for Puerto Vallarta Animals, hosted by Casa Yvonneka, one of the holiday season’s most popular events. Four years ago, Yvonne Kalman decided to give this fundraiser a unique theme, inviting guests to dress as legendary Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and enter the costume contest. The party was such a success that the theme has become an annual tradition that has only added to the event’s popularity.
The fifth edition of this fabulous “party with a cause,” Frida & Diego V, will be held on Saturday, December 7 at Casa Yvonneka, a luxurious villa with breathtaking views of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay. The party starts at 6 p.m. with sunset cocktails in the stargazer lounge, where you’ll enjoy live music, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and mingling with old and new friends. Attendees will then enjoy a gourmet dinner with their choice of Continental and Mexican specialties, along with wine and drinks, complemented by live music on the pool terrace, offering magnificent views of Banderas Bay and the downtown Guadalupe church.
The fabulous dinner will be followed by dancing under the stars, a live auction, a raffle for fabulous prizes, our annual “Diego & ‘Frida” costume contest, plus a few surprises lasting until the wee hours. A donation of 2,200 pesos gets you a ticket to this all-inclusive and unforgettable evening. 100-percent of the event’s proceeds benefit various animal associations in the Banderas Bay, caring for neglected animals. Representatives of these non-profit organizations will attend the party to tell you all about their ongoing efforts to place Puerto Vallarta’s street animals in loving homes.
In Quimixto, the small beach community south of Puerto Vallarta, they pay special homage to the Virgin Guadalupe on December 12 every year. Baptisms, first communions, and weddings take place within the local community, culminating in a flotilla procession of small decorated fishing boats, “pangas,” which will proceed along the shoreline to PV, starting at 10 a.m. The ornately dressed women and children that fill the pangas of the flotilla sing hymns in the Virgin Guadalupe’s honor.