Virgin of Guadalupe Festival

Old Oct 12th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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Virgin of Guadalupe Festival

Dec. 1-12th Puerto Vallarta.
Any info would be nice. We arent arriving until the 10th but would love to view any part we can.
Suze, please tell me your info.
I saw one parade from it in 2001 but wasnt aware of the festival in advance as we now are.
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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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The Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe takes place in PV a week (or maybe even 10 days? I'm not sure) before and leading up to the biggest night and culmination on December 12th (the actual holiday).

There are nightly processionals (parades) thru the street downtown arriving at the church at the end. There are marching bands, Aztec dance groups, mariachi bands, drum & bugle corps, groups of people with candles singing and walking along carrying gifts (for the Virgin). There are some floats, taxi cabs decorated up with people riding on top of them, groups from civic organizations, schools, hotels, restaurants, etc.

People from Vallarta attend but also many come in from surrounding areas. It's a really big deal. In association you'll also find lots of great food booths set up (the location of the food court has changed year to year, so can't tell you exactly where you'll find them, follow the crowds and your nose!).

If you want to participate yourself by joining a group to walk the processional, it's easy enough to get invited to do so. Just express your interest at your hotel, or ask at a bar or restaurant you frequent. Those business are usually much later in the evening (and more rowdy, less 'religious') to accomodate their workers work schedule.

Since it sounds like you're flying out on the 12th? You could attend any or every other night of the week. Sometimes you can find a loose 'schedule' on a flyer that shows which time approximately which groups will walk each evening (I got one at the tourist bureau down off the main town square by the church one time).

You can also sometimes find special event souveniers at this time of year like t-shirts or pareos with the Virgin's image on them.

For whatever reason this Festival is not really on most tourists radar. I was surprised how few I saw in attendance. (I have planned trips specifically to be there for the Festival, 3 different times so far.)

suerte, suze
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 06:30 AM
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The processions start on the 1st culminating on the 12th so you'll have plenty of opportunity to see them. The 12th is the biggie, expect streets closed to traffic.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 06:47 AM
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Thanks Cabron. Do you know if they still sometimes do a procession from the south-side? In addition to the usual main ones downtown coming north to south to the church? I ask because one year I saw one a parade from the balcony at Posada Roger on B. Badillo. But didn't notice that other years.

I have a lovely poster from 1998 here's what it says:
Peregrinaciones a la Santisima
Virgen de Guadalupe
Te Invitamos a Puerto Vallarta
del 1 al 12 de Diciembre

and then about 60 years of
Devocion a la Patrona de Nuestro Pueblo
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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We first watched the processions in '03, and did several nights in a row of watching them back then -- sitting on benches and/or the street curbs (ouch!!), of the street leading up to the church, the final destination. We haven't been quite as devoted 'in our viewings' since then, but we have done a few nights on each trip, of every year since those first experiences, downtown and near that final destination.

We have also watched processional groups form-up in both the downtown and south side areas of the city, mostly in the south side though, as that's where we have stayed since '04. We have enjoyed watching hotels, restaurants, and the like get their groups together, and then proceed with their floats, bands playing, and members carrying candles and singing -- north along Olas Altas, then right and up Basilio Badillo.

Most of the processions to the church gather at the northern end of Juarez Street, proceed south on Juarez to Independencia, then turn left and up the hill to and into the church. The processions are usually during the evenings only, but the last two days (Dec 11 & 12) are all-day affairs, with the Malecon, Plaza, and nearby streets/areas crowded with onlookers, food and music seekers, and etc.

There is much to see, hear, and experience when the processions are "active". They're not parades, so there can be considerable times of "not much happening" between each. Those moments offer good times to catch some food from the various street stands!!

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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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thank you all the the useful info. nice to know we can join in the processional if we chose to. That would be a special treat. We will be front and center on the 11th and 12th and enjoy as much as the festivaties as we can. Event as this really make travel interesting and educational.
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