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Traditional Fiestas in Central Baja: Authentic Mexico

by Shari Bondy

Summer is fiesta time in Baja Sur, with the kids out of school and home from college. Each village has a few days set aside to celebrate…usually on the Saint’s birthday  for which the town was named. Here in Bahia Asuncion, our traditional Fiestas are held around the 15thof August, the day of Ascension. This year’s fiesta will be held starting Aug.15-19.

Summer is fiesta time in Baja Sur

The Fiestas span three to four days with many events, depending on the village. Most begin with opening ceremonies and speeches by local dignitaries  followed by the crowning of the Reina — or Queen of the Fiestas — at a dance for the whole town, with a live band.

We have a surf competition being held on Aug. 11, this year hosted by our local surf club Los Jurjos. Surfers from all over the state and abroad come to compete and a dance is held in the evening following the awards ceremony. It is a great family event and a fun day at the beach with surf, music and food…everyone is welcome to compete and attend.

Surfing competitions are part of the fiestas

There is also a fishing tournament for yellowtail and calico bass open to the public for a nominal entrance fee. Cash prizes are awarded in several catagories, adult, kids in panga and shore fishing. The fish is cooked up afterwards at a big community BBQ with live music too. There will be a sand castle building competition the day of the tournament this year as well as people wait on the beach for the fishermen to arrive for the weigh in.

Every day, there are scheduled events like beach volleyball, kayak races, greased pig chase, car races, rodeo and my favorite are the horse races where thoroughbreds race a quarter of a mile:  This is a huge event with beer tents, food, live music and lots of cowboys fully decked out in their finest western duds.

Another event well attended by all the surrounding ranch folk is the Cabalgata  — a horse rally where some one hundred horses are ridden from a ranch to the church in Bahia Asuncion.  There, they are blessed by the priest and a big carne asada BBQ follows at a local ranch.  The Cabalgata will be held on August 15th in 2012.

In the evenings, there is a midway with rides for the kids, food booths, games.  Every night comes alive with live bands and dancing.

Fiestas are for all ages!

Each town has its own version of the Fiestas…but I guarantee that every one of them is a lot of fun and well worth taking in.  Come on down!

Traditional fiestas are the iconic Baja…picture yourself under a starry sky, listening to ranchero music and eating carne asada!  To find out more about the villages and top hotels and vacation rentals in the Bahia Asuncion area of Central Baja, visit is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at


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