Ajijic villagers turned out in droves for the final day of devotions and festivities in tribute to La Virgen del Rosario. According to local custom, the month-long religious celebration ended on October 31.
Many gathered at the Malecón at 5 a.m. to take part in the last pre-dawn candlelight procession to the San Andrés for the celebration of the Eucharist. Every pew in the church was packed as a band filed down the central aisle belting out Las Mañanitas to usher in the service.
An even larger throng joined the 5 p.m. parade through village streets following behind the revered statue of the Our Lady of the Rosary hoisted on a giant bier by a team of burly young men. Their destination was again the local parish for the evening Mass.
Afterward, people gravitated to the town plaza for a typical fair that was intermittingly interrupted by a passing thunderstorm. Hardy souls took cover in the bandstand and other dry spots to wait out the weather to catch the burning of the fireworks tower (castillo) and get in on the dance party that wrapped up the fiesta.
With restoration work on the Rosario chapel still incomplete, the virgin’s image will continue being housed at San Andrés until further notice. Optimists are thinking the project will finished in time for her to return home in time for the January feast of San Sebastián, whose figure is her chapel companion.