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jennifer rose

Aug 5, 2002, 10:45 AM

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Fiesta Patronal de la Parroquia de Santa Maria de los Altos

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I’m going to let y’all in on a secret that you’re not going to read about in any tour guide. Nor in any press release from the state tourism office. It’s the Fiesta Patronal in Santa Maria, the tenenacia where I live, and the site which predated the founding of Morelia.<p>At noon today (whoops, that’s now), the reception of peregrinos making the trek from San Jose de las Torres, Laurelitos, Rio Bello and San Miguel del Monte begins at the Parroquia de Santa Maria de los Altos. And folks from various communities – some as nearby as Balcones de Morelia and Vista Bella, and some coming from as far away as El Duede, Agua Dulce, El Ranchito, and Tumbisca, numbering as many as three hundred hardy souls, will walk as far as forty kilometers – during the next eight days. Just in honor of our Mother the Virgin Mary in her Ascension to the Heavens. Tonight at 6 p.m. groups will traverse the streets of Santa Maria de Guido, ushering in the festivities.<p>The 14th of August is a daylong marathon of confessions and confirmations, some folks coming all the way from the U.S. just to mark this special day. <p>August 15th, the Virgin’s Day, begins early. At 5 a.m. a group begins its walk from Vista Bella to Santa Maria de Guido, where the Virgin has spent the night at the Casa de Monjas Guadelupanas right across from the plaza. By 5:30 a.m. the dulcet tones of maòanitas will ring through the streets, just before the first mass of the day at six o’clock. Thirteen different music groups will perform, and the day will conclude with a send-off of magic proportions at 10 p.m. Just watching those guys prepare the castillo is something worth watching.<p>Puestos are lining the streets of Santa Maria de Guido and its plaza, carnival rides setting up to entertain the young’uns, shooting galleries and games to test the mettle of young men, and a wondrous array of culinary talents are on display – ranging from the traditional moles to fried fish, enchiladas, corundas, and some of the best French fries to be found anywhere. This is definitely an experience not to be missed.<p>More than 65,000 persons will come up the hill to Santa Maria each day during this fiesta, and we really hope you’re one of them. You’ll find a hearty welcome with open arms.<p> (And now for a commercial message: please drop an envelope of money – whatever you can offer – at the church.)

 
 
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