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Yippee-yi-oh-ki-yay . . . Gringo Day

Posted by Rennie on January 13, 2008, 10:09 am

February is Fiesta time in La Manzanilla and the dates for 2008 are Feb 2 to Feb 6.

Gringo Day kicks off the Fiesta on Saturday, Feb 2nd and the Fiesta wraps up with the Ejido Day on Wednesday, Feb 6th which is a very special day for La Manzanilla as it marks the beginning of the Ejidal system (signing of the right of the common man to own land following the machete wars).

As last year, tickets for Gringo Day are $180 pesos each and will soon be available at several locations in La Manz and from various individuals who may approach you with tix for sale. Rumour has it that T-shirts will be available again this year - stay tuned for more info!

So, what is Gringo Day??

Gringo Day is the one day of the Fiesta sponsored by the non-Mexican members of this community as one way to say “Thank you for welcoming us and including us in your town”.

It actually begins the evening before (about 8 pm Feb 1) in the square with the banda, the Farol (held on high and spun in turn by the youth of the town) and the ponche(ai-yi-yi) made by the Gringo committee. It is a time of dancing in the streets and the start of five days of merriment. At 1 pm on Feb 2nd, the townsfolk gather in the Casino for a feast of birria and beer and dancing to the music of the energetic banda which, at 4 pm, leads everyone off to the rodeo grounds to watch the bull riders and the dancing horses and to continue dancing until dark. In the evening, there is a big show band that plays in the Casino until the wee small hours.

Each of the other days follows a similar format (farol, birria, rodeo, dance) and ends with the Ejido Day (with mariachis, too) on Feb 6th. You will also find that during these days the street food stands have moved to the area of the Casino.

Hey, what is a farol?

El farol is a light, like a street light, which is what this looks like only instead of a light at the top of the pole there is a large cube with each side being a poster that advertises one of the fiesta days, naming the sponsors of the birria, the bulls, the bands, etc.

More later...


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