Dancing in the Streets

A great time to visit Veracruz City is during Carnaval, the region's major pre-Lenten bash held the week before Ash Wednesday. There are daily parades; musicians roam the city playing salsa and merengue; and couples literally dance in the streets.

In Tlacotalpan, locals worship the Virgin of the Candelaria. This patron saint of fishermen is officially honored on February 2, but the fiesta, which includes a flotilla of boats and the running of the bulls, begins January 31, lasting 10 days.

Even the smallest of villages has its fiestas. A vanilla festival in Papantla draws people every March. Coatepec, in the heart of coffee country, celebrates the bountiful bean in May. Xico is known for its raucous festival celebrating Mary Magdalene, the town's patron saint, that begins on July 16. On July 26 Xalapa celebrates the Fiesta de Santiago Apóstol with fireworks. If you're in Tlacotalpan September 27 to 29, you can take a peek at the Fiesta de San Miguelito, honoring Saint Michael. On September 30, Coatepec marks the Fiesta de San Jerónimo by constructing huge arches decorated with flowers.

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