Chapala’s faithful will honor patron saint San Francisco de Asís with nine days of devotions and festivities running from Wednesday, September 26, through Thursday, October 4.
Each day of the novena starts at dawn with members of the sponsoring gremio (guild) gathering for prayers at the north end of Avenida Madero, 6:30 a.m., followed by morning mass at the San Francisco parish, 7 a.m.
An evening procession along the full length of the main thoroughfare heads out from the same departure point, 6:30 p.m., as pilgrims tote a small statue of Saint Francis and offerings to the church for the 7 p.m. Mass. A life-size figure of the patron saint is paraded on the final day of festivities.
Following the evening service, free cultural entertainment is staged at the church atrium. Throughout the night crowds will head around the corner to Paseo Ramon Corona to munch on typical foods and treat youngsters to mechanical rides and games of chance. Each night caps off with a glittering castillo fireworks display outside the church, around 10 p.m.