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LaManzanilla Rodeo 2012

Posted by akbarb on February 1, 2012, 7:54 pm

The following message was written by Rennie for last year's rodeo. With her permission, I have tweaked it to work for this years dates. She did a wonderful job writing this and I think it bears using a second time.

Mark your calendars, dust off your hat, and polish your boots! Fiesta time in La Manzanilla is just around the corner! Gringo Day is Day One - Saturday Feb 4- of Fiesta La Manzanilla. This is the first of 3 days of fun, food, beer, dancing, bull riding (for the experts), powerfully tasty punch, and lots of music in the air. Gringo day is sponsored by all of us ex-pats (Gringo types) who regularly visit La Manzanilla while our Mexican townsfolk/hosts attend the reception free of charge.

A Bit of History:
It is said to be the 102st Anniversary Year of the Revolution that resulted in land ownership for the common man. Even the smallest villages throughout Mexico traditionally hold a Fiesta de Toros to celebrate their emancipation ‘way back when’ from Spanish landowners. Individual fiestas coincide with the date their Ejido was formally enacted, giving the people management of the land on which they’d previously been, basically, slaves. La Manzanilla’s anniversary of this original Ejidal formation is February 6th. This year they have planned a three day celebration which begins with “Gringo Day”, the day when expat residents of La Manzanilla sponsor the day as a way of saying ‘Thank you’ to our Mexican townsfolk for their hospitality and forbearance and the Ejido Day on February 6th.

A Day at the Fiesta:
There is a midday meal of birria served about 2 PM in the casino while the banda plays and people dance. About 4 PM everyone follows the Banda down the road out to the rodeo grounds for events like dancing horses, bull riding, and the banda, of course, with lots more to eat and drink. This goes on until darkness falls and everyone returns to town to revive themselves for the big dance. It takes place in the Casino and begins after 9 PM and goes on into the night. On the morning of the Ejido Day, you will hear the Banda rev up very early - still dark! - as they prepare to visit former Ejiditarian notables.

More on Gringo Day:
Each ticket costs 200 pesos and this gets you to both the Birria luncheon at ±2 PM, Saturday, Feb 4 at the Casino and the events at the rodeo grounds from ±4PM - dusk. Be sure to keep your ticket intact until darkness falls on Feb 4th.
We are always looking for help in dishing up the grub so if you can lend a hand and a serving tray at 2 pm on Saturday, February 4, we can sure use your assistance. Don’t forget your apron.
At this time, tickets (200 pesos) are for sale at these locations around town, Mexican Property Resources (formerly Santana), Helping Hands bookstore, the Club, and from individual ticket venders. T-shirts: both men’s and women’s styles are available again this year at the locations noted above for a mere $100 pesos.

You'll also want to be at the square after dark on Friday Feb. 3rd when a walking group of musicians will help kick off opening night. The strong youth of the town (and a few oldsters, too) take turns spinning the Farola - believe me, it's not light-weight - and leading the banda around the square, down Maria Asuncion to the Casino and back for more dancing at the square. Truly a social event not to be missed. We must also mention the powerfully tasty punch, made by women that afternoon under Lupita’s instruction, which will be available.

The second day plan is still in the works. The businesses in town are working at putting on the day.

Day three is EJIDO DAY, the town’s anniversary on Monday, Feb 6, when all are welcome to sample the birria courtesy of the town’s Ejido at the 2 pm reception in the Casino. This day usually features Mariachis in addition to the hardworking banda. Lots more fun to be had.


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