|I love this view of the village, taken from La Loma about 9 a.m.|
My art teacher said today when only one child showed up for class (usually there are six or seven), "Everyone is thinking only about the Feria and practicing for the parade and not about learning art." And in the distance I could hear the sounds of bands practicing, a sure sign that Feria is near. What is called the Battle of the Bands in the U.S. is called "Ecuentro de Bandas de Marcha" and it's at 4 p.m. on Friday, the 12th.
But my favorite, and the one I wish I could participate in, is the Cabalgata or horse ride...at 10 a.m. on Friday. I adore watching all the riders on their high stepping, gleaming-coated Paso Finos and other breeds. I find it less appealing to see the drunks astride some spavined, underfed and mistreated creature they have nearly drug into town for the event. Yes, it's a mix, but that is Feria. Here's a photo from last year's event before the ride got under way.
The undisputed high point of the day for the women is the presentation of the young women who are vying to be Queen of Barichara. They are candidates from all the vedetas (equivalent to 'shires' or regions in this area) and they represent Barichara at various events throughout the state of Santander and sometimes beyond. Two years ago I sewed the dress for the representative from Salitre, the vedeta where Corasoma (the finca I was affiliated with) was located. She did not win, but came in third. This event is at 7 p.m. and is attended by all the girl's families and other relatives and friends, so it is a huge, huge gathering. I enjoy watching the girls make their 'walk' down the aisle, escorted by a young man who is usually part of the group of the military presence here during the festival.
There will be a dance every night up on the fairgrounds, where people can drink and eat and laugh and joke and have four days of carousing with family and friends. The new mayor of Barichara is quite firm about keeping the drinking up there and not all over the city, but we will see how well he manages.
Sabado/Saturday is about expositions and animals and presentations (more fiesta!) of traditional dances and foods, so it will be somewhat subdued after Friday's grand opening with all those intense activities.
|Some very creative designs and use of materials last year.|
After all of these days of getting up before 5 a.m., finally reason prevails and nothing happens on Monday until 8 a.m. And the day is scheduled to unfold somewhat sedately with parades of cows, festivals of chickens, gatherings of camposinos and acknowledgement of Guane, the nearest and oldest village in the state (I think) and finally another dance at 8:30 p.m. to close out Feria XXXV, "Ferias and Fiestas Culturales de la solidaridad y el retourno de Barichara" for 2012.
I'm charging up my camera batteries for the Feria, but I'm nearly worn out writing about it!