Ajijic begins gearing up for Mardi Gras festivities this weekend with the first in a series of cow poke contests and colorful collateral activities.
Traditional jaripeos – featuring a lively mix of bull riding, boozing and dancing to banda music – will be held on consecutive Sundays, February 10, 17 and 24, and daily March 2 through 5, starting around 4 p.m., at the town’s Lienzo Charro bullring located on Calle Revolución, a block south of the Plaza Bugambilias shopping complex.
On all but the final date, the man-versus-beast encounters are preceded early in the day by the customary Toro de Once parades led by La Sayaca, a band of masked dancers dressed up as bearded gents and busty broads. The outlandishly costumed marauders romp through the streets chasing local kids and rousing festive spirits as they pelt anyone in range with fistfuls of flour and confetti.
The Sayaca capers start from the rear entrance of the San Andrés Church on Calle Galeana around 11 a.m., heading from there to the plaza, west on Hidalgo to Seis Esquinas and looping back via Ocampo-Constitución for a last bit of fun inside the bullring. Afterwards, Ajijic’s Charro Association host the Recibimiento, a street party to welcome ranchers who bring in livestock for the jaripeo.
Check upcoming editions of this newspaper for details on how the town will celebrate Fat Tuesday, along with the huge program of events lined up for Chapala’s annual Carnaval blowout, set to run February 22 through March 5.