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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Festival of the Patron Saint of La Cruz and Carnival Parade

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Team Angels/Lori Wilson - Amigos de La Cruz
April 18, 2016



Hey all you expats, residents, retirees, holidayers, sailors from near and far.....want to experience a little of our community's true Mexican culture?

The annual Festival of the Patron Saint of La Cruz will commence Sunday evening April 24, 2016 with the Opening Celebration Parade. The parade begins at 6:30 and winds through the village, ending at the plaza around 7:00 pm.

Amigos de La Cruz has again been invited to participate and we’ll be there ready to march!

You can even join the parade as it winds its way from the baseball field (on the colonial side), then across the highway, up and down the cobble streets, and ending in the village square. You can park at the Marina, lots of room there, and that is where the parade ends too.

Parade start time is about 6:30 pm. Feel free to walk in the parade if you wish, or better yet, decorate a float or vehicle and just join in!!!!

The cost is free but you could bring some candies for the kiddies.

We’d love our supporters to participate as well. If you have an Amigos t-shirt please wear it.

This is the start of 9 more days of celebration in La Cruz. Each morning will begin with a bang (literally) and a procession to the church, repeated in the early evening and ending at the plaza for a party featuring a vast array of food and drink and of course, music, bottle rockets and fireworks. La Cruz knows how to party!

Well I have it from Polo himself, the Delegado (the Mayor), that this celebration is to honour the patron saint of La Cruz, La Santa Cruz, who bestows her blessings on the village and especially the fishermen, each year and hopefully for years to come.

The celebration/fiesta lasts 10 days, from the 24th of April to the 3rd of May, which is on the calendar as the "Dia de la Santa Cruz."

Apparently this deeply spiritual event has its roots in the 16th century. The Catholic Church plays a central role during the 10 days, celebrating mass each evening and is usually accompanied by rockets and fireworks too.

It has been an important event in La Cruz for 63 years says Polo, and the parade is in its 5th year already.

The parade involves the businesses, restaurants, bars, butcher shops, schools, motor clubs, shops, fishermen and associations ....oh, yes, Amigos de la Cruz' recycling team and their decorated truck will be there, watch for Lina and the Cetmar students!!!! The mayor will be throwing candies to the children of the town....watch them as they scramble to catch them!!!!

The carnival in the village square is also full of delightful rides for the children ...and as Saturday, April 30th is the "Dia del Nino " that would be a good day to see the smiling faces of the children of La Cruz.

On the 3rd of May, Santa Cruz Day, there is a morning pilgrimage of the fishermen along the marina to the church for a special blessing at the 12:00 mass. Watch for the decorations and use of the colours of pink, purple and blue.....but we are not sure on their origin????

On Sunday, May 1st, the big event is the crowning of the Queen of La Cruz in the evening starting at 9:00 pm....do not miss this one!!! She will be chosen from among 5 beautiful contestants and will reign over La Cruz for the next year.

A past article from RivieraNayarit.Com

La Santa Cruz is a tradition that defines Riviera Nayarit, a magical destination where natural wonders and culture are intertwined. The event will take place at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.

Extending for nine days, the whole town celebrates while the bells in the small church toll, and the streets are filled with stands that offer food and traditional games, and the sky is painted with the colors of fireworks.

However, the most anticipated event is a large religions celebration called La Santa Cruz. The town has embraced this celebration and made it its own, and as one popular saying states: “the name bears the penance”, and they have named their town La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.

However, the original name of this town is not based on this religious celebration. Although the town’s name is La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, the origins of this name remain unknown. There are several possibilities, like the abundance of this tree in the region, or even a legend that says that a peasant traveling in the area of the Bahia de Banderas valley towards Punta de Mita found this beautiful location and rested under the shade of a huanacaxtle tree.

The peasant liked the place so much, that he decided to mark a cross in the tree before leaving, with the conviction that some day he would come back to this place, identify that tree which gave him a break from the sun and would build his home there, thus creating the name La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The truth is that no one can verify this story, and at the entrance of town there is a huge cross, made out of wood and adorned with pink, purple and blue decorations during the festivity.

These three colors embellish the town. However, the most impressive feature is the passage of the local fishermen’s boats on the water. These boats set sail early in the morning, decorated with these three colors and displaying the Santa Cruz (Holy Cross). Later in the day they go back to church to attend mass.

This simple but beautiful celebration that is one of the many reasons that set Riviera Nayarit apart from other beach destinations.

This content was submitted by a member of the community. We'd like to hear from you, too! To share stories, photos, video or events for our calendar, please send them here.

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