Fiestas Patrias festivities will keep the lakeside area jumping over the coming week in the build-up to the September 16 celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day. Here’s an abbreviated rundown on holiday happenings.
Saturday, September 8
Regata de Globos, paper hot air balloon extravaganza, Cruz Azul soccer field, Calle Revolución at Guadalupe Victoria in Ajijic, from 3 p.m. Donations for admission at the gate. Food and drinks for sale on site.
Baile de Gala town dance, Jocotepec Plaza, 8 p.m.
Sunday, September 9
Día del Charro celebrations. Mass at Ajijic’s San Andrés Parish, Noon; equestrian parade, 1 p.m.; bullriding and banda bash Lienzo Charro bullring, 4:30 p.m. In Jocotepec, parade from Barrio La Campana through town, 2 p.m., ending at the Lienzo Charro arena with cowpoke event.
Usos y Costumbres del Rebozo, shawl fashion show/competition, Ajijic Plaza, 6 p.m., followed by Reina de Fiestas Patrias contest final and coronation, 8 p.m.
Thursday, September 13
Commemoration of Día de los Niños Héroes (Heroic Defense of Chapultepec, 1847), civic ceremonies, Jocotepec Plaza, 8:30 a.m.; Chapala waterfront Fisherman’s Fountain, 9 a.m.
Mariachi Nuevo Chapala in concert, Centro Cultural González Gallo (Chapala’s former railway station), 7:30 p.m, admission 100 pesos.
Friday, September 14
Signing of a Sister City agreement between Jocotepec and Watsonville, California, Jocotepec Plaza, 6 p.m., followed by performance of harp duo Los Centenarios.
Mariachi Real Axixic in concert, Centro Cultural Ajijic, 7 p.m. Advance tickets 100 pesos, 120 pesos at the door.
Saturday, September 15
Juegos Tradicionales. Sack races, greased pole and other fun and games for kids, Ajijic Plaza, 5 p.m.
Festivities wrapped around El Grito, a modern reenactment of Padre Miguel Hidalgo’s historic 1810 Cry of Independence, starting between 10 and 11 p.m. at government headquarters and plazas in Chapala, Jocotepec, Ajijic, Santa Cruz de la Soledad and San Nicolas de Ibarra. Live entertainment programmed before and after the formalities.
Sunday, September 16
Torneo de Pesca, sport fishing contest, Ajijic waterfront, from 8 a.m.
Desfile de Indepedencia. civic parades along main streets of most localities, starting 9 a.m. in Chapala, Jocotepec, San Nicolas and Santa Cruz; 10 a.m. in Ajijic.
Indigenous dance workshop, Ajijic Malecón, 11 a.m., take paliacate bandanas, rattles and drums, fruit and water to share.
Traditional Combate de Flores (confetti/flower mock battle), 7 p.m., Ajijic Plaza.
Patriotic celebrations will continue through the end of the month with various special events. Here are a few highlights:
Friday, September 21
Fiesta Mexicana at the Lake Chapala Society, 4 to 7 p.m., admission 250 pesos includes welcome drink and taco buffet.
Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23
Grito ceremonies, Independence parades and village fairs are customarily held a week later in San Antonio Tlayacapan and San Juan Cosalá.
Friday, September 28
Fiesta Mexicana at La Bodega Restaurant, 6 p.m., 250-peso charge includes dinner and performances by three musical groups. Proceeds benefit Julio Alberto Raygoza.